Mark Allen has reached only his second semi-final at the CrucibleVenue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April-1 MayCoverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport appMark Allen won a hard-fought encounter with Jak Jones 13-10 to reach the World Championship semi-finals for the first time since 2009.
The lead switched hands several times during the opening two sessions which concluded 4-4 and 8-8.
Wednesday’s decider saw Jones open with a break of 77 and reply to two half-centuries from Allen with a superb 124.
However, 37-year-old Allen secured the final three frames to wrap up victory as Jones faltered.
“It wasn’t pretty at times but who cares? I got the 13 frames and that was the target at the start. It was a complete slog and it was just a matter of digging deep,” said Allen.
“As the match went on I felt like he weakened a little. He started unbelievably well but missed a few late on that he wouldn’t normally have and I just picked up the pieces.
“I have won that with my B and C games. It was a three or four out of 10 performance but mentally it was a 12 out of 10.”
The Northern Irishman will face either John Higgins or Mark Selby in the last four.
Scotland’s Higgins and England’s Selby have both collected four Crucible titles, while Allen will be featuring in only his second semi-final, some 14 years on from his 17-13 defeat to the Scot.
Meanwhile, Anthony McGill and Si Jiahui are tied at 8-8 after the second session of their quarter-final.
Having resumed at 4-4, Chinese debutant Si took the opener before 2020 semi-finalist McGill enjoyed breaks of 88 and 68 as he won four of the next five to go 8-6 up.
However, Si responded superbly with runs of 80 and 86 to leave the match delicately poised for their concluding session which begins at 19:00 BST.
Allen’s winning experience countsJones had been aiming to become the first Crucible debutant to reach the single-table set-up since Andy Hicks in 1995 and the first player to win a world title on his bow at the tournament since fellow Welshman Terry Griffiths in 1979.
But while the 29-year-old produced a gritty display against Allen in what has been a breakthrough tournament for him after impressive victories over Ali Carter and Neil Robertson, it proved a step too far, despite Jones making six half-centuries and one ton.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Welshman, who will move up from 52nd in the world rankings to 36th, said: “It was a decent tournament but I am so disappointed with how I played in this match.
“I missed some easy balls and I suppose the occasion got on top of me a little bit.”
Allen, the world number three, played with the assurance that winning the UK Championship, Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix has provided in his best-ever campaign and rarely looked ruffled in a match that was nip and tuck until the finale.
Allen, whose only century, a wonderful 137, arrived in the third frame, relied upon some excellent match-play to see him through, none more so than when he sealed his win in a protracted 23rd frame that lasted more than an hour.
Analysis – ‘Allen was put through the wringer’John Parrott, the 1991 world champion, speaking on BBC Two
Mark Allen was put through the wringer, that was a really hard match. Jak Jones comes out with tremendous credit. He was ranked 52 coming into this. He will not see the 50s in the rankings again. He is a proper player who will hopefully go on and win tournaments.
That was a massive result for Mark and you can see what it means to him.
Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, speaking on BBC Two
I think Jak just ran out of steam. He’s played something like 112 or 113 frames in this run and Mark has probably played half that number. Mark won’t have underestimated Jak at all. It was a big match for him having not reached the semi-finals for so many years.
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