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Day denies Williams in decider to book British Open final spot

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Ryan Day v Robbie Williams live stream | British Open 2022 preview

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Mark Allen v Ryan Day live stream | British Open 2022 final preview

Day edged out Williams in a deciding frame on Saturday (Andrew Orchard sports photography/Alamy Live News)

Ryan Day will play Mark Allen in this year’s British Open final after edging out Robbie Williams 6-5 in Milton Keynes on Saturday.

The Welshman is through to the ninth ranking showpiece of his career, having denied Williams in a nervy encounter at the Marshall Arena.

There, he will play Allen following the Pistol’s comprehensive 6-1 rout of Noppon Saengkham earlier in the day.

Appearing in his first ranking semi-final since winning the most recent of his three titles at the 2021 Shoot Out, Day drew first blood with a run of 55.

Meanwhile, this was only the third time in Williams’ professional career that he had reached the last four of a ranking tournament.

The world number 61 responded with a break of 77, before taking the next two frames on the blue and pink respectively to move 3-1 up at the mid-session interval.

With the in-form Allen awaiting in the final, the pressure of the occasion was evident as both players struggled for consistency and fluency as the contest wore on.

Despite falling 4-2 behind, Day levelled at 4-4 with 61 before a run of 43 was enough to complete the turnaround and move to within a frame of victory.

It looked like the world number 27 would seal the deal in the next, but a great opportunity went begging as he rattled the final red in the bottom corner.

A relieved Williams subsequently cleared to take the contest the distance and move a frame away from his maiden ranking final.

But there was to be no joy for the Wirral cueist. Early chances came and went for both players in the decider, before Day eventually dusted himself down and held his nerve to scrape through by the skin of his teeth.