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Allen holds rampant record over second round foe Hawkins

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Northern Irish potter Mark Allen holds a dominant head-to-head record over his second round Crucible opponent Barry Hawkins

‘The Pistol’ Mark Allen holds a superior record over his next Crucible opponent Barry Hawkins, and the Northern Irishman will be aiming to extend that rampant run in their second round meeting at the World Championship in Sheffield.

Clinical cueist Allen has overcome ‘the Hawk’ on eight occasions in competitive meetings since their first ever encounter in 2008, with his 36-year-old opponent having secured a rare victory two years ago in the 2013 German Masters last 16.

With such a dominant head-to-head tally, Allen is a best priced 4/6 with Betfred to secure a win, while Kent-born Hawkins is available at 7/5 with 888.com to cause an upset in the prestigious Yorkshire event.

Antrim-attacking potter Allen reached the semi-finals of the World Championship in 2009, but has since struggled to make a genuine impact in this coveted competition, but he is hoping to make the most of his attempts to gain a maiden Crucible crown this year.

“I still love it. This isn’t going to last forever and you have to make the most of it,” said Allen. “I love competing in front of the big crowds and in front of the television cameras. I want to win but you also have to enjoy it.”

The 29-year-old has already won two ranking events in his professional career and has been in the world’s top 16 for seven straight seasons, proving he does the capability to reign supreme in Sheffield.

“I won’t have regrets when I finish playing,” he continued. “But I have a pretty disappointing record in the biggest events and I want to put that right.”

Allen is odds-on 8/11 with Boylesports to make the highest break of the match, while ‘the Hawk’ is a 6/5 chance with Bet Fred to do so.

Elsewhere, the 2006 Crucible king Graeme Dott will contest Stuart ‘Ball-run’ Bingham in the other second round matchup. Scotland’s ‘Pocket Dynamo’ is 11/8 with Coral to topple his opponent, while Essex-born Bingham is available is odds-on 4/6 with William Hill to make the highest break.

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