Rocket In Charge / Allen And Jones Level
Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan blitzed to a 6-2 lead over Luca Brecel following the first session of their Cazoo World Championship quarter-final in Sheffield.
The Rocket earned his quarter-final spot by making light work of a grudge match with Hossein Vafaei in the previous round. The pair exchanged words in the media ahead of the game, but ultimately O’Sullivan did most of his talking on the table and eased to a 13-2 win.
Brecel’s opening round win over Ricky Walden was his first ever victory at the Crucible, having fallen at the first hurdle in his previous five appearances. The Belgian followed that up with a thrilling 13-11 defeat of Mark Williams to make the quarters.
It was Brecel who made the early running this morning. He averaged just 12 seconds a shot on his way to crafting a magnificent 93 to take the opener. O’Sullivan responded by taking the second with breaks of 56 and 51 to restore parity. They traded the next two frames to end all square at 2-2 heading into the interval.
When play resumed O’Sullivan took complete control of proceedings. He claimed the lead for the first time at 3-2 and then fired in a superb 128 to double his advantage.
The seventh frame saw Brecel come back from requiring two snookers, only to miss the pink and leave it over the pocket for O’Sullivan to move 5-2 ahead. The 39-time ranking event winner then made it five on the bounce with an 85 break to take the last of the session and end 6-2 ahead. They will resume this evening from 7pm.
Meanwhile, player of the season so far Mark Allen and debutant Jak Jones shared the frames to end 4-4 after their opening session.
Northern Irishman Allen stormed his way to the quarters with a 13-4 demolition of 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham in the second round. Welshman Jones continued his dream debut by defeating 2010 Crucible king Neil Robertson 13-7.
This morning’s tie started off at a brilliant standard. Jones took the first two frames with 78 and 94. Allen responded with a sublime 137 to make it 2-1. The next two were shared, before Cwmbran cueman Jones took the sixth with a break of 71 to lead 4-2.
Allen dug deep and took the las two of the session to finish all-square. They also return this evening at 7pm.