McGill completes incredible comeback to deny Clarke as O’Sullivan, Robertson and Wilson also reach Quarter-Finals
Anthony McGill pulled off a remarkable comeback from 8-2 down to defeat Jamie Clarke in a last-frame decider and was joined in reaching the Quarter-Finals by Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson.
McGill looked down and out at six frames behind but produced a gutsy fightback to claw his way back into a marathon match at The Crucible and eventually deny the Welshman in agonising fashion.
The pair had come to blows on Saturday after McGill had accused Clarke of moving whilst in his eyeline on the shot, prompting referee Jan Verhaas to intervene.
That moment of controversy proved to be a pivotal one in terms of the match itself as the Scot kick-started a run of six consecutive frames to level up.
Clarke, though, stopped the rot in frame 17 to edge back in front, and after McGill had levelled again, the world number 89 made a 73 break to lead 10-9.
McGill restored parity before following in with a break of 78 to go ahead for the first time in the match, but only for Clarke to reply with a 64 break to make it 11-11.
Clarke then wrestled back the lead but squandered a golden opportunity to clinch victory in the next frame, missing a match ball pink.
The frame eventually went down to the final black and McGill held his nerve to force a decider as the clock approached midnight.
The drama intensified as both players missed multiple early scoring chances, the best of which falling to Clarke, but he over-cut a red with the rest.
McGill then snookered Clarke, who racked up costly penalty points, and despite escaping the snooker, the Welshman then fouled in a separate instance, allowing the Glaswegian to close out a gruelling victory.
“Jamie will be gutted, he totally outplayed me,” McGill told Eurosport.
“There were a few shots yesterday, etiquette-wise, Jamie should be sitting down, I didn’t say anything.
“A few times I was shooting down the table and he was standing at that end, as professional players know, you should always sit in your seat or stand behind the player.
“It happened a few times in the first session, I didn’t say anything, I thought maybe he was nervous.
“I thought if something happens in the next session, I’ll have to say something because it was just distracting.
“I asked him softly and politely if he wouldn’t mind sitting down and he sort of took it the wrong way.
“It all started a big thing and I didn’t mean anything by it.
“I’ve been a pro ten years, people might not like me, no one can say anything about my professionalism, I play the game fair.
“People might have thought I was taking the huff because I was getting beat, I could not care less if I win 13-0 or lose 13-0, it was totally irrelevant to the scoreline.
“It turned into something it shouldn’t have been.”
McGill is through to his second World Championship Quarter-Final since 2015 and will now face Norway’s Kurt Maflin on Monday.
Meanwhile, five-time champion O’Sullivan continued his latest title pursuit with a 13-10 victory over reigning UK Champion Ding Junhui.
The decorated duo entered the final session locked level at eight apiece, but successive breaks of 87 and 73 quickly moved O’Sullivan two clear.
Ding replied with a break of 88 to remain in touch, but ‘The Rocket’ rattled in a 60 break to lead 11-9.
A break of 81 kept Ding on his opponent’s coattails, but that would prove his final meaningful contribution as O’Sullivan struck stunning breaks of 117 and 93 to complete another impressive win.
“I was just glad I found a way to try and compete with my mind out there,” said O’Sullivan.
“For a while I’ve just been going out there just slapping balls about, having a bit of fun and probably not caring if I won or lost.
“I suppose deep down I do care but I suppose you just have to treat it like a bit of fun.
“I spoke to Steve Peters and I’ve worked on a few things so when I went out there, my mind was actually focused on the job.
“Most of the time I’m out there thinking about other things and it’s not good, you’ve got to try and focus on the job in hand.”
Neil Robertson remained in the running for a second world title, a decade on from his first, as he defeated Barry Hawkins 13-9.
The left-handed duo were level at eight-all after two sessions, but Robertson took control with breaks of 59 and 50 in establishing an 11-8 lead.
Hawkins stopped the rot in style with a break of 104, but the Australian replied with a 79 before dominating frame 22 to complete the win.
He will now face three-time World Champion Mark Selby in a mouth-watering Last Eight tie.
Kyren Wilson won through to his fifth consecutive Crucible Quarter-Final after he held off a spirited revival from Martin Gould to prevail 13-9.
Wilson had stormed into an 11-5 overnight lead but Gould began the third session brightly by reeling off three consecutive frames.
However, Gould saw frame 20 slip through his fingers as Wilson recovered from needing three snookers to move to the verge of victory.
Gould did keep the game alive with a break of 73 in the following frame, but Wilson sealed the deal with a 79 to set up a show-down with rival Judd Trump.
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World Snooker Championship 2020 Results
Sunday August 9
Kyren Wilson 13-9 Martin Gould
Neil Robertson 13-9 Bary Hawkins
Anthony McGill 13-12 Jamie Clarke
Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-10 Ding Junhui