Saturday 21 April 2018

Rocket bows out as Hawkins takes last-frame epic

Barry Hawkins celebrates after defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Barry Hawkins celebrates after defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire Newsdesk Newsdesk

Barry Hawkins kept his nerve to clinch a final-frame thriller and send Ronnie O'Sullivan tumbling out of the World Championship.

Hawkins had started the evening session nervelessly at the Crucible, producing a pair of solid clearances to move one frame from victory at 12-9. In typical fashion, five-time champion O'Sullivan responded with his fourth century of the match, a clearance to pink of 124, to reduce the deficit to 12-10.

And he raised hopes of a maximum in the next, as a run of 11 reds and 11 blacks earned him a break of 88 and took him to within one frame of levelling the match.

He duly did so when he capitalised on a Hawkins error to roll in a break of 63 and force the final frame.

After a long period of safety play which left reds scattered across the table, Hawkins fashioned a superb break of 56 to take control in the decider. With reds strewn everywhere, O'Sullivan set out on what would have been a stunning rescue mission before going in-off to hand Hawkins the chance to confirm a place in the quarter-finals.

Judd Trump crashed out after failing to claw back an overnight deficit against Ding Junhui.

The former finalist resumed 10-6 behind and despite staging a valiant fightback to pull within two frames of his Chinese opponent, he had left too much to recover and fell to a 13-10 defeat.

Rising star Kyren Wilson also reached the quarter-finals after holding his nerve to see off Northern Ireland's Mark Allen in the other match in the afternoon session.

Wilson resumed with an 11-5 advantage but Allen raised hopes of completing a spectacular fightback as he took the first four frames of the session to move within two.

But breaks of 51 and 71 secured a superb 13-9 victory for Wilson, the world No 19, who will now go through to face world No 1 Mark Selby in the quarter-finals.

Irish Independent

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