UK Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Mark Allen to win seventh title

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the UK Championship for a record seventh time by outclassing Mark Allen 10-6 in York.

O’Sullivan retained his title to move to 19 World, UK and Masters trophies – surpassing Stephen Hendry’s record in the ‘Triple Crown’ events.

A run of six frames in a row allowed the Englishman to dominate the final.

Northern Ireland’s Allen rallied to trail 9-6, but O’Sullivan closed out the match with a break of 78 to collect the trophy and the £170,000 top prize.

Five-time world champion O’Sullivan sat out the 2015 event, but has dominated at the Barbican in recent years, claiming three titles since 2014.

He has now won a remarkable 27 of his 28 matches here since 2014, the only blemish being his 2016 final loss against Mark Selby.

O’Sullivan was tied with Steve Davis on six tournament victories but this win – 25 years after his first triumph – takes him past his fellow Englishman.

‘The Rocket’ celebrated by tipping a bottle of water over his head and jumped into the crowd after being presented with the trophy.

“History is fantastic,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. “It’s amazing, I can’t believe it.

“I played very well, but I still had to convince myself because that is how hard it felt. It’s great to create history, great to beat Steve Davis’ record.

“It’s amazing to beat my hero Stephen Hendry’s record. He was the ultimate player. I’ve still got eight world titles to get, so I’m chasing that one.”

O’Sullivan continues to rule

Despite turning 43 during the tournament, world number three O’Sullivan looks to be improving with age and is the most feared, most consistent and most successful player on tour by a distance.

He has been vocal regarding the amount of travelling players have to do for events across Britain, Europe and Asia, and has spoken about wanting to form a breakaway tour in order to continue competing. This was just his third out of a possible nine ranking events this season.

His record, though, is superb – winning here, reaching the final of the Northern Ireland Open and semi-finals of the English Open.

His triumph at the invitational Shanghai Masters in September made him the first snooker player to pass £10m in prize money and he also won the aptly named Champion of Champions event in Coventry.

His first victory in the UK Championship, aged 17, made him the youngest winner of a ranking event – a record which still stands – and he has further landmarks in his sight.

O’Sullivan is now just two ranking titles short of Hendry’s overall record of 36, and the 101 break he made in the second frame was the 986th century of his career, 14 short of the 1,000 mark, which no player has achieved before.

Despite his advancing years, he will also close further on Selby’s world number one ranking with a deep run at the Scottish Open which begins on Monday, and will chase an eighth Masters title at Alexandra Palace next month.

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