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Saturday, 22 April 2017

World Championship Day Eight Round up.

There was a feeling during the week on social media that despite some bright moments that this championship hadn't really caught fire yet,but if today is anything to go by things are only going to get better.

So often in these multi session matches its impossible to keep your form going throughout so the secret is to make hay when things are going your way.When Mark Allen looks back on his defeat here to John Higgins,he may well reflect on that first session yesterday,where playing at his absolute best he somehow only came out of  it with a 5-3 lead.

Higgins was always likely to make him pay for that and got off to the perfect start this morning taking the opening four to move ahead 7-5.Allen bounced back after the interval with a 116 in the next to close within one at 7-6 & looked well placed to level when on a run of 70 in the next,but Higgins dished with 72 to extend his lead to 8-6.From here the last two were shared  to leave it 9-7 going into the final session.

Into the night then and Allen,needing a fast start, was first in again taking the opener to get within one at 9-8,but history was to repeat itself in the next as first in again Allen,thanks to a kick,broke down on 58 & Higgins dished once more to go 10-8

A 120 in the next from Higgins extended that lead to 11-8 & although Allen pulled another back,this one was all but over with Higgins going through 13-9 

So with Higgins quest for a fifth world title gathering momentum in the bottom half of the draw the possibility of a dream final between him & his fellow legend Ronnie O'Sullivan becomes a real possibility as Ronnie also booked his place in the last 8 today by quickly polishing off his match with Shaun Murphy this morning.

Just how big that last frame yesterday afternoon was in the context of the end result we'll never know,but starting today leading 10-6 Ronnie was never likely to let this slip and looking fully focused again, he quickly rounded  off a comfortable 13-7 win.

He'll next face Ding Junhui who came through a real high quality encounter with his fellow Chinese Liang Wenbo that went all the way to the 25th and final frame.

This was a real scoring feast as these two punched and counter punched over the three sessions & perhaps the difference came down to the greater experience as Ding rallied late to see off Liang 13-12

In the matches that started today Stephen Maguire  & Mark Selby both hold 6-2 overnight leads against Rory McLeod & Xiao Guodong respectively & seem in control,but we know too much at this stage to take anything for granted,don't we ?
 

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