Snooker - Allen wins Championship League group

Mark Allen secured a place in the Championship League finale after edging Stephen Maguire 3-2 in Group Four's final match in Essex.

On his way there the Northern Irishman saw off Martin Gould 3-0 in his semi-final, in what he considered a better performance than he produced against Scottish player Maguire, who had earlier ground out a five-frame victory over Ricky Walden in his semi.

"I played well from start to finish, the final was probably my worst game but I am happy with the way I finished it off, making a century break" Allen said.

"It would have been hard to take if I didn’t get through given how well I played to win the group. It was nice to get through to the winners’ group as soon as possible.

"People say that if you go through the groups you keep winning money but there is no guarantee of getting into the winners’ group and that is where everyone wants to be.

"Considering how busy the calendar is now it is nice to have six extra days off from the groups I will miss."

Allen's progression through Group four was near-perfect, having also taken care of Ricky Walden (3-1), Barry Hawkins (3-1), Gould (3-0), Judd Trump (3-0), Mark Selby (3-0), and Maguire (3-1).

He now joins John Higgins, Ali Carter and Ding Junhui in the final group on March 20 and 21.

Twenty-five of the world's top players are competing in the Premier League qualifying tournament.

Seven groups of seven players produce seven winners who play in one further group in March to determine the winner who will play in the 2013 Premier League.

In each group, the top four players from the round robin stage will contest the semi-finals and final over the best of five frames.

The players coming sixth and seventh in the group will be relegated and will not feature in any further group matches and therefore three players will leave and be replaced by a further three players.

Group four results

Judd Trump 2-3 Stephen Maguire

Ricky Walden 1-3 Mark Allen

Stephen Maguire 0-3 Mark Selby

Mark Allen 3-1 Barry Hawkins

Stephen Maguire 3-0 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 3-2 Barry Hawkins

Mark Selby 0-3 Martin Gould

Barry Hawkins 1-3 Judd Trump

Martin Gould 0-3 Ricky Walden

Judd Trump 1-3 Mark Selby

Ricky Walden 1-3 Barry Hawkins

Mark Allen 3-0 Martin Gould

Judd Trump 0-3 Mark Allen

Martin Gould 3-2 Barry Hawkins

Stephen Maguire 2-3 Barry Hawkins

Mark Selby 2-3 Ricky Walden

Stephen Maguire 3-0 Ricky Walden

Mark Selby 0-3 Mark Allen

Judd Trump 2-3 Ricky Walden

Stephen Maguire 1-3 Mark Allen

Judd Trump 1-3 Martin Gould