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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Allen secures place at Waterfront
Antrim snooker player Mark Allen
Mark Allen has ensured a return to the Waterford Hall
Mark Allen has sealed a place in the Northern Ireland Trophy at Belfast's Waterfront Hall after winning his final qualifying round game on Monday.

The 20-year-old from Antrim defeated Tom Ford 5-3 at Prestatyn in Wales.

Gerard Greene set up a first round clash with fellow Northern Ireland star Joe Swail after enjoying a 5-2 win over Judd Trump.

However, Castlederg's Dermot McGlinchey has failed to make the final stages after losing out 5-1 to Dominic Dale.

Last year the Northern Ireland Trophy was an invitational event but this year's competition has ranking points.

Allen made his professional debut in the tournament last year when he beat Steve Davis and John Higgins.

Allen is determined to make an impact again at the Belfast venue this year.

"The Waterfront is the best venue I have played at in terms of the conditions and the atmosphere," said the former world amateur champion.

"I had about 150 friends there supporting me and that really spurred me on and gave me the motivation to play well.

"To beat Davis and Higgins was fantastic. It gave me a lot of confidence to do well for the rest of the season and in the coming season I know I need to be beating the top players regularly.

"The target this time is to get into the top 32 of the rankings and to get to a few more venues and appear in the televised stages of tournaments."

Allen became a father for the first time in May when partner Reanne Evans, the ladies world champion, gave birth to daughter Lauren.

The Northern Ireland Trophy runs from August 13 to 20 and will feature the world's top 32 players including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, John Higgins and world champion Graeme Dott.

Allen through to quarter-finals
18 Aug 05 |  Snooker

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