Warrior Wilson Closes In On Quarters
Kyren Wilson is just two frames away from a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship after building an 11-5 lead over Mark Allen.
Wilson, whose only previous appearance at the Crucible was two years ago when he lost to Ricky Walden in the first round, has come of age as a player this season. He won his first ranking title at the Shanghai Masters in September, and if he finishes off Allen on Monday afternoon he will surely give Mark Selby a real test in the last eight.
Kettering’s 24-year-old Wilson did most of the damage this morning by surging 7-1 ahead, and managed to share tonight’s second session 4-4.
World number seven Allen came out firing tonight and won the first four frames in less than an hour with breaks of 122, 103, 60 and 66, to close the deficit to 7-5. But Wilson regained the initiative after the interval with a run of 82 and he added the next with 30 and 34 to go 9-5 up.
Northern Ireland’s Allen looked set to win the 15th frame until, leading 58-14 on a break of 49, he accidentally brushed a red with his cue while playing with the rest, the foul spotted by referee Marcel Eckardt. Wilson clawed his way back into the frame and won it by potting the final pink and black.
Allen also looked favourite to win the last of the session when he led 64-34 with just the colours left, but he was unlucky to go in-off when escaping a snooker on the yellow. He got another chance at the final pink but rattled it in the jaws of a top corner, and Wilson took pink and black again to give himself a commanding overnight lead.
On the other table, Ding Junhui is also on target for a spot in the last eight – and a meeting with Mark Williams – as he leads Judd Trump 10-6.
China’s Ding, winner of 11 ranking events, has never been past the semis at the Crucible, but appears to feel under less pressure to perform this time, having dropped out of the top 16. He won three matches to qualify for the final stages and now looks in formidable form.
Trump trailed 6-2 after the first session then won the first frame tonight with a 46 clearance. The next came down to the final black and Ding got the better of a safety exchange and potted it to a baulk corner to go 7-3 up. Bristol’s Trump, runner-up here in 2011, took the next with a 70 clearance but Ding won frame 12 on the colours to make it 8-4 at the interval.
The next two frames were shared then Trump led 54-17 in the next, before Ding made 51 to lead by 14 points on the pink. Trump got the snooker he needed, but then missed a difficult thin cut on the pink and his opponent potted it for 10-5. In the last frame of the session, Trump won a safety battle on the last red and cleared to the blue to raise his hopes of a fight back.
Both matches resume on Monday at 1pm.