Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui won a wonderful match 4-3 against Mark Allen at the Dafabet Players Tour Championship Grand Finals, making three centuries including a 147.


Pics: Monique Limbos


In an amazing start to the match, Ding made the fifth maximum of his career (only Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and John Higgins have made more) in the opening frame. China's top player will receive £1,000 from the rolling 147 prize pot for PTC events, plus the £2,000 high break prize, as long as the maximum is not equalled.


Ding had his first 147 at the Masters in 2007, his second at the UK Championship in 2008, and two more in PTC events in 2011. Today's was the 97th maximum in snooker history and ninth of the season.


Northern Ireland's Allen fought back to win the next two frames with a top break of 58, but a missed red early in frame four proved costly as Ding made a 138 total clearance. Allen then had a chance to regain the lead but another missed red to a top corner on 44 let Ding in for an 81 clearance.


The high scoring continued as Allen's 125 made it 3-3. And inevitably the match finished with another century as Ding capitalised on a loose safety from Allen to make a 108, his seventh ton in the 12 frames he has won this week.


The result ended Allen's hopes of winning back-to-back ranking events having won the recent Haikou World Open. Ding goes through to the semi-finals to face Ben Woollaston or Kurt Maflin, and is just two wins away from his sixth ranking title and the £100,000 top prize.


"It was crazy today, I made a maximum in the first frame and I only made one mistake with position, when I left the white close to a cushion and had to pot a red to a middle pocket," said 25-year-old Ding. "I thought it was a good chance for a 147 because the reds were all in a good position around the black. Best of seven matches are over quickly so you have to take your chances, make big breaks and put pressure on your opponent.


"It's always a nice feeling when you make a maximum. I'm not worried about my next match, I'll just have a rest today and focus on tomorrow."


Allen said: "I only missed a couple of balls in the match, but that was just a couple too many, the way Ding was playing. My safety let me down because Ding's scoring was ridiculous and I couldn't afford to let him have chances. I need to work on that. I wasn't thinking about winning back-to-back ranking events but it's disappointing to lose because I've had a great start to 2013."