Friday 16 November 2018

Allen and Ding bow out while Higgins edges classic

Out: Wilson. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Out: Wilson. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Phil Casey

Antrim's Mark Allen bowed out of the Betfred World Championship, losing 13-6 to Kyren Wilson who cruised through to the semi-finals yesterday.

Wilson will face John Higgins after he beat Judd Trump 13-12 in a final-frame decider after trailing 7-3, 10-8 and 11-9 in a Crucible quarter-final classic last night.

Trump looked to be in the driving seat when claiming the 20th frame for an 11-9 lead, but Higgins produced runs of 75, 72 and 134 to lead 12-11. Trump claimed the 24th frame to force the decider, but he never got a chance in the 25th.

Although Allen kept his hopes alive on his table with breaks of 54 and 40 in the opening frame, Wilson took the next two to gain a measure of revenge for losing to the Co Antrim man in the final of The Masters in January.

Wilson, who had lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last two years, said: "I definitely wouldn't say it was the biggest win of my career, (but) it's up there. It was always a goal of mine to reach the one-table set-up and I just can't wait to get out there and experience it."

Elsewhere, Barry Hawkins also booked his place in the last four of at the Crucible with ruthless demolition of Ding Junhui.

Hawkins will now face two-time world champion Mark Williams in the next round after the Welshman claimed a 13-8 victory over Ali Carter, who knocked Ronnie O'Sullivan out earlier in the competition.

Hawkins thrashed the Chinese third seed 13-5 to make the semi-finals. Hawkins took an 11-5 lead into the final session in Sheffield and Hawkins swiftly won the two frames he needed against a woefully out-of-sorts Ding, finishing the surprisingly one-sided contest in style with a break of 117.

Hawkins, who has reached the semi-finals or better in five of the last six years, said: "I'm in the semis but there's still such a long way to go and there's still some great players in.

"I'm not getting too excited, I've been here before and I know what it's like to go out there and play terrible, so it can happen at any time.

"I'm obviously over the moon to get through and I thought I played pretty well.

"I thought I punished him every time he made a mistake and when someone's doing that against you, it's easy to start to missing a few and I managed to keep him under a bit of pressure because he hadn't been until then."

Irish Independent

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