Allen reached the World Championship semi-finals in 2009

Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen has started his UK Championship challenge with a 6-2 first-round victory over Lukas Kleckers of Germany.

But the 31-year-old from Antrim insisted he would have to play much better to have a chance of mounting a serous challenge for the title in York.

“I scored well, but I didn’t play well. He gave me early chances to get into the match,” said the world number nine.

“I will not get those sort of chances against the really top players.”

Allen, who stormed in to 5-0, admitted he had switched off a bit, but added: “I am still happy and scored well with five breaks over 70.”

His second-round opponent will be England’s Oliver Lines who beat Mei Xiwen of China 6-3.

Allen’s best performance at the UK Championship was reaching the 2010 semi-finals and he achieved his first ever 147 break at last year’s event.


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