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Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Maguire closing in on Crucible Quarter-Finals

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“I can’t play any better than that at my age” admits Mark Williams after thrashing Jackson Page

O’Sullivan takes on Lawler in Llandudno (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Ronnie O’Sullivan moved to the brink of the World Championship quarter-finals after establishing a commanding 12-4 lead over Mark Allen on Friday.

The Rocket dominated the opening two sessions and is just one frame away from a 20th appearance in the last eight at the Crucible.

Indeed, the six-time World champion hit two centuries along the way, as well as a further eight breaks over 50.

Allen had turned up the pressure in the build-up, vowing to get under the skin of his opponent.

But the Pistol was unable to fire and the Rocket took advantage with breaks of 131, 96, 87, 69 and 57 giving him a 6-2 lead.

Allen threatened to embark on a comeback as he snatched the opening frame of the evening after clearing from the final red.

But it proved a false dawn for the Northern Ireland Open champion; his opponent pulling to within a frame of victory with runs of 100, 93, 88, 67 and 53.

Elsewhere, Stephen Maguire requires to just two frames to reach the last eight, after moving 11-5 ahead of Zhao Xintong.

Leading 5-3 from the opening session, the Maverick dominated proceedings once more; contributions of 82, 64 and 61 leaving the UK Championship and German Masters winner with a mountain to climb.

Meanwhile, Mark Selby and Yan Bingtao are finely poised at 4-4 in their clash, which was briefly interrupted by the spontaneous appearance of a pigeon.

Seeking his first venture into the quarter-finals, former Masters winner Yan hit a top break of 104 and snatched three close frames on the colours for a 4-2 advantage.

But the reigning champion dug deep with a run of 83 levelling the contest overnight.


World Snooker Championship 2022 – Day Seven

Friday April 22

Last 16

Jackson Page 3-13 Mark Williams
Mark Allen 4-12 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Mark Selby 4-4 Yan Bingtao
Zhao Xintong 5-11 Stephen Maguire