UK Championship final: Ronnie O'Sullivan leads Mark Allen 6-2 after first session

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Betway UK Championship final
Venue: York Barbican Date: Sunday, 9 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan opened up a 6-2 lead over Mark Allen after the first session of the UK Championship final in York.

The duo shared the first four frames in rapid fashion, O’Sullivan making breaks of 101 and 85 and Allen one of 74.

But O’Sullivan, aiming for a record seventh UK title, took control with breaks of 66, 57 and 65 as he won five frames in a row.

The best-of-19 final resumes at 19:00 GMT and is live on BBC Two and online.

O’Sullivan’s longevity and superiority in the sport has been underlined by reaching the final 25 years after lifting he trophy for the first time as a 17-year-old and by winning 26 out of his last 27 matches in York.

A place in the history books is in sight for both players – O’Sullivan searching for a record 19th ‘Triple Crown’ event win, while Masters champion Allen is looking to be the first Northern Irishman to triumph since the legendary Alex Higgins 35 years ago.

Both players looked edgy in a tense opening which was pinched by Allen, but O’Sullivan settled down thereafter, compiling his 986th career century as he moves closer to becoming the first player to 1,000.

Allen spoke before the final about not being at his best and was punished by O’Sullivan for loose safety play and missed opportunities in amongst the reds.

O’Sullivan’s incredible season so far

The world number three is only playing in his fifth event this season, but is seeking his third title from his fourth final.

The only event where he did not make the final was the English Open, where he was knocked out in the semi-finals but made his 15th maximum 147 break in the second round.

O’Sullivan’s 2018-2019 season
10-16 September: Shanghai Masters – Won
15-21 October: English Open – Semi-finals
5-11 November: Champion of Champions – Won
12-18 November: Northern Ireland Open – Runner-up
27 November-9 December: UK Championship – TBC

O’Sullivan in the comfort zone – analysis

Six-time world champion Steve Davis: Ronnie O’Sullivan is in the comfort zone. He is playing such good snooker that he can win with his ‘b game’. It’s only when a player plays at his very best, that they are possibly able to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry: Five frames in a row is a worrying run for Mark Allen. We talk about momentum a lot and it works even more in long frame matches, although he was unlucky in that final frame.

Can you name all the UK Championship winners since it became a ranking event?

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