Mark Allen reached his fourth ranking final of the season after sweeping aside Noppon Saengkham 6-1 in the last four of the World Grand Prix in Cheltenham.
Allen, the sport’s in-form player, blended gritty matchplay snooker with four breaks of 50, including a 127 in the fifth frame, to cruise home.
The Northern Irishman, who will play either Shaun Murphy or Judd Trump in the final, told ITV4: “I felt like I dominated from start to finish, but I’m just a bit disappointed that I didn’t see it out a bit easier.
𝗔𝗟𝗟𝗘𝗡 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗦 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟
Mark Allen beats Noppon Saengkham 6-1 to reach his fourth final of the season at the @Duelbits World Grand Prix! 👏
He'll face Judd Trump or Shaun Murphy over 19 frames on Sunday. #DuelbitsSeries
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 20, 2023
“I don’t think I’ve ever won three ranking events in a season. It’s a tough match I’ll have ahead of me, but I’ve given myself a good chance.”
Earlier, Murphy dispatched Anthony McGill 5-4 in their quarter-final clash, while Judd Trump overcame China’s Xiao Guodong 5-3.
Murphy, seeking his first title since the 2020 Welsh Open, believes Trump has had it too easy in the tournament so far, and says he is in the running to cause an upset.
Thrilled with the win today against a seriously good opponent in Anthony McGill. Doesn’t get any easier though as we move into the semifinals tomorrow night. We go again 👍🏻 @WeAreWST @socialie pic.twitter.com/iKS0uYGqiy
— Shaun Murphy (@Magician147) January 20, 2023
“I think he’s won a lot of matches this week on reputation,” said Murphy. “I think people have collapsed against him. I won’t be collapsing. He will have to beat me.”
Murphy led 3-1 against McGill and nudged back ahead at 4-3 after McGill had levelled matters. The Scot hit a century to force the decider, but it was Murphy who got over the line.
Trump recovered from trailing 1-0 and 2-1 against world number 34 Guodong, before stretching away and completing his victory with a break of 117.