Mark Williams surges into quarter-finals with easy win over protege Jackson Page
Mark Williams surged into the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship with a session to spare after wrapping up a dominant 13-3 win over his fellow Welshman and protege Jackson Page.
Three-times champion Williams produced some of the best form of his career to compile six centuries and eight further breaks of 50-plus as he rendered Friday night’s scheduled concluding session obsolete.
Resuming with a 7-1 overnight advantage, Williams continued to show no mercy to 20-year-old Page, who trains at Williams’ club in Tredegar and whom he considers a close friend.
Opening with a break of 110 to move further in front, Williams then snatched the 10th frame with a clearance to black after Page missed the last red to leave him stranded on a highest break of 69.
Two half-centuries in the next frame made it 10-1 for Williams, who was fulfilling his tongue-in-cheek claim that he wanted to “destroy” Page, who set up the meeting with an impressive first-round success over Barry Hawkins.
Page got a second frame on the board but Williams was merciless, firing back-to-back centuries and then, after Page clawed back another frame, finishing with a 56 to book a last-eight meeting with either Mark Selby or Yan Bingtao.
Ronnie O’Sullivan also has one foot in the last eight after establishing a 6-2 lead over Mark Allen in the first session of their second-round clash.
O’Sullivan, who is seeking to level Stephen Hendry’s Crucible record of seven titles, threatened to mark the 25th anniversary this week of his record-breaking five-minute maximum by taking 10 reds and nine blacks at the start of the first frame.
Despite running out of position and having to take the pink, O’Sullivan did not let up, and after Allen had briefly levelled at 1-1, breaks of 131, 69 and 96 sent him 4-1 in front.
O’Sullivan increased his lead in the sixth frame then stole the seventh with a break of 57 after shellshocked Allen, the 15th seed, missed a green off its spot with the frame at his mercy.
The Northern Irishman rallied to take the final frame of the session but faces an uphill struggle when the pair return for the second of three scheduled sessions later on Friday.
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