Mark Allen was in awe of Ding Junhui's "ridiculous" performance as the Chinese ace fired a maximum break and two further centuries in a scintillating quarter-final win at the Dafabet Players Tour Championship Grand Finals in Galway.

Antrim town’s Allen could only sit and admire Ding's display for long spells, and had to swallow a 4-3 defeat.

Ding, 25, had runs of 147, 138, 81 and 108 in a startling show at the Galway event, to move two wins away from the €115,000 first prize.

"I only missed a couple of balls in the match, but that was just a couple too many the way Ding was playing," Allen said.

"My safety let me down because Ding's scoring was ridiculous and I couldn't afford to let him have chances."

China's leading player had four previous maximums to his name, and the fifth came in the opening frame today, earning him a €3,500 bonus.

Even Ding found his feat hard to believe.

"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," he said on

"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."

Neil Robertson, the 2010 world champion, will tackle England's Tom Ford in the semi-finals after the Australian posted a 4-1 win tonight against Ding's compatriot Xiao Guodong.

Ford knocked out Hong Kong's Marco Fu by the same scoreline.

Ding was awaiting the winner of the late match between the unheralded pair of Kurt Maflin and Ben Woollaston.