World Snooker Championship 2022: Mark Williams beats Jackson Page 13-3

World Snooker Championship 2022: Mark Williams beats Jackson Page 13-3

Mark Williams is a three-time world champion
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April-2 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Mark Williams produced a devastating display to thrash fellow Welshman Jackson Page 13-3 and reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship in Sheffield.

The three-time champion made six centuries and eight breaks of 50 or more to win with a session to spare.

Williams will face defending champion Mark Selby or China’s Yan Bingtao next.

Six-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan was in fine form as he opened up a 6-2 lead over Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen.

O’Sullivan has been in relaxed mood at this World Championship and has had a camera crew following him for a documentary.

In the lead-up to the match, Allen commentedexternal link that it was “not the Ronnie O’Sullivan show”, but ‘The Rocket’ played close to his brilliant best in the opening session.

The Englishman, who is aiming for a record-equalling seventh world crown, stroked in one century and four half-centuries. The pair resumed at 19:00 BST.

Scotland’s Stephen Maguire, who had to qualify for the tournament, is closing in on a surprise victory over UK champion Zhao Xintong, leading 11-5.

World number 40 Maguire needs only two more frames to reach the last eight when they resume on Saturday morning.

Fowl and a miss – pigeon stops play

In a bizarre incident before the sixth frame between defending champion Selby and Yan, a pigeon somehow made its way into the Crucible Theatre, starting the Chinese player while he was in his chair.

“I don’t believe it, we’ve got pigeon here,” former world champion Ken Doherty said during commentary on BBC Two. “Have you ever seen anything like this? Those pigeons will do anything for a free seat.”

The bird walked across the table before flying towards a surprised Selby, who had left the arena after the fifth frame.

It made its way backstage, where it was caught by a member of staff.

Selby and Yan are locked at 4-4 after the first session before resuming on Saturday morning.

‘Absolutely ridiculous’ Williams

Williams called 20-year-old Page his “fourth son” because they practice together and Page plays cards and heats pizza with his three sons.

But the master taught his protege a lesson in cue-ball control, stroking in a record-equaling six tones in the match and taking his tally to 10 for the tournament.

Williams opened up a 7-1 lead in the first session, making further runs of 74, 53, 50, 75, 51, 65 twice and 56 to stun Page on his Crucible debut.

The pair were supposed to conclude on Friday night but the early finish means 47-year-old Williams can enjoy a rest until he returns to action on Tuesday.

Williams said: “If it was anybody else with a session to spare it would be ‘good, hammered him’, but I don’t feel like that playing Jackson.

“I played really well, kept him under pressure and it is a good learning curve for him. He can bounce back.

“I didn’t really give him any chances. I did not ease up all game and he can’t be too disappointed. I can’t play any better than that at my age.”

World number 90 Page said: “He was unbelievable in the first session and it set the tone of the match.

“He ran away with it and it takes your very best to compete with that. He was just absolutely ridiculous. You can’t fault it.”

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