Allen strikes first
Mark Allen took a 6-3 lead over Matthew Stevens after the first session of their Haikou World Open final in China.
The Northern Irishman, looking for his second successive crown in this tournament, opened up a 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 48, 52 and 93.
Stevens led 55-0 in the fourth frame only to see his opponent respond with a clearance of 58.
But any thoughts Allen would storm to victory - like he did when he thumped Stephen Lee 10-1 in last year's final - were put on the backburner when his Welsh opponent reduced the deficit to two frames with breaks of 67 and 112.
However, 27-year-old Allen re-took a four frame advantage, which included a break of exactly 100 to go 6-2 ahead.
Stevens, competing in his first final in five years, ended the session on a high note by winning the last frame and keeping his hopes of a fightback in the evening session alive.
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