Mark Allen admitted he had been “frozen out” by opponent Barry Hawkins as his bid for Dafabet Masters glory ended last night.
The Antrim ace lost 6-2 in the quarter-final clash at the Alexandra Palace, after having started confidently by winning the opening frame with a 109 break.
Allen said: “I wasn’t expecting that after the way I started in the first frame.
“I’m not really sure what happened after that.
“Barry played very well to go 3-1 up. I had chances to win the next frame and that would have put me back in the match.
“But all credit to Barry because he froze me out and it got to the stage where I didn’t feel as if I was going to take my chances.
“I felt if I could compete in the safety department with Barry then I’d have too much for him, but the problem was he was dominating in that area.”
The defeat was a blow for in-form Allen who earlier in the week expressed confidence that he can finally win one of snooker’s ‘Triple Crown’ events of the World Championship, UK Championship or Masters,
“Perhaps I haven’t showed it in my matches, but I know that I’ve got the game to win these big tournaments.”