Fans ‘wowed’ as Mark Allen named ‘my hero’ by talented teenager at Northern Ireland Open…

The talented teenager competing in the Northern Ireland Open has hailed Mark Allen, the defending champion, as “my hero.” Allen is striving for a home-soil trophy treble and started his campaign with a convincing 4-0 win over Ben Mertens from Belgium on Sunday, which featured two half-century breaks. This victory paves the way for his second-round match against Andres Petrov of Estonia on Monday.

The tournament also features Northern Ireland-born amateur Robbie McGuigan, who, at nineteen years old and hailing from the Antrim region, achieved three half-century breaks en route to defeating Muhammad Asif. He is now set to face Anthony McGill in the next round on Tuesday. McGuigan, who secured one of the two wildcard entries into the NI Open alongside 15-year-old Joel Connolly from Belfast, referred to Allen as “my hero” in an interview shared on World Snooker Tour’s social media platforms.

In response, Allen reciprocated the sentiment by sharing the interview on his social media, expressing his admiration for McGuigan and praising his hard work and talent, hoping this is just the beginning for him.

McGuigan emphasized the significance of Allen’s support, mentioning that he considers Allen as his hero, having watched him win tournaments over the past couple of years. He expressed his contentment with the guidance Allen provides, highlighting that Allen is always present to offer advice and encouragement while watching from the sidelines.

Meanwhile, another Northern Ireland player, Jordan Brown, secured a thrilling 4-1 victory over Australia’s Neil Robertson on Monday. Brown expressed his confidence in his capabilities and mentioned his commitment to improvement on and off the table. He acknowledged that his hard work had paid off and was delighted that it happened in such a significant tournament.

In an interview following his win against Mertens, Allen revealed that he has improved at dealing with the pressure over the years, although he still experiences nervousness before matches. He expressed his desire to secure that first win and get into the tournament.

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