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World Snooker Championship 2022 LIVE: Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins return to action in evening session

Snooker

Shaun Murphy – Stephen Maguire

19:45-23:44

Murphy 7-7 Maguire (42-24)

This is excellent from Shaun, who fires back to take the lead in the frame and splits a cluster of reds open perfectly when potting the pink. With the black out of commission that’s been his colour of choice, and if he can keep landing on it he can pass the winning post without needing the one difficult red that remains, near the left rail.

World Championship

Maguire mouths expletives after leaving gap for Murphy to pot at the World Championships

2 HOURS AGO

Murphy 7-7 Maguire (0-24)

The curtain is up so the whole Crucible can now see the conclusion of this one, if that’s a good thing for the Page-Hawkins audience. It will surely take both players some time to compose themselves after that. Stephen gets in first, and makes a decent fist of it until he misses a pink to right middle on 24 and leaves Murphy in.

Murphy 7-7 Maguire

Call everyone you know – it’s over! Stephen leaves a thin cut on the pink to the yellow pocket. Shaun snicks it in, lands straight on a simple black, and finally puts this frame to bed after one hour and 11 minutes!

Best of five anyone? Ambassador!

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (44-52)

This is…I don’t know what this is! Stephen leaves the blue on to the left middle which Shaun pots, but he can’t convert the pink with the rest. It runs safe, Stephen doubles it long, the pink almost goes into the bottom right off the black but stays out, but Shaun can’t get to the potting angle! What do you play here? Trust to luck on a double kiss of course, which he does and he doesn’t leave it! Come on now, this is getting silly!

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (39-52)

What a pot from Stephen! He drains the yellow long into the green pocket from an acute angle, and what a flurry of action here – green and brown soon go too! The blue is safe and Stephen keeps it that way, as with the pink and black both over pockets it’s effectively frame ball. We’ve now been at this frame for an hour!

On our other table there’s been an upset, as Jackson Page has beaten Barry Hawkins and rounded off with a break of 135!

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (39-43)

More LOLs here as Stephen gets a double kiss on the yellow and flukes a snooker, from which Shaun crashes into the pink first and we’re all square in the frame suddenly. He then misses the yellow completely at his second attempt, and leaves a free ball. Stephen turns it down and Shaun escapes on his third attempt, and of course the yellow rolls safe. Time is an abstract concept, but if you’re interested we’ve now been going 55 minutes in this one.

Elsewhere, Jackson Page now leads Barry Hawkins 9-7.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (39-33)

Shaun gets another solitary red away, and then picks up eight points in fouls from a canny snooker. Both players are admirably seeing the funny side of this, but amid all the larks this is still a huge frame to win, more so now given how it’s unfolded. It’s Shaun that takes charge of it, gliding a red into the green pocket, but then misses what looks a simple cut back on the black when trying to free the yellow. Deep breath then, as we go to the colours!

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (29-33)

Stephen can’t escape a snooker and ships four, and initially a free ball. Sportingly, Shaun contests it for a good two minutes, believing he can hit both sides of one red, and puts Stephen back in. His next effort catches the black and he escapes at the third attempt, leaving a red on to the right middle. Shaun can’t drop it in though, and the red goes safe. We’ve been going nearly 40 minutes in this grim yet undeniably absorbing struggle, with no sign of a potential winner yet.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (18-33)

It’s 20 and no more from Maguire, which must feel like a maxi given the table and the comical sequence of events in this frame. All remaining four reds and colours are splattered all over, as if Jackson Pollock were laying out a practice table. Shaun gets one down but misses the pink – of course – and it really is amazing to see two players of this ability struggle so much. Another red with the rest by Shaun follows later and position doesn’t come with it – of course – so we’ve got 43 left on the table.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (16-20)

It’s not getting any better. Shaun gets a red in – via another one, unintentionally of course – and then the pink, but misses a red to the bottom right and leaves it there. Stephen needs to roll another red onto it and makes the pot, but amazingly snookers himself on the gimme brown as he does so. Both players are laughing at this now, because it’s a farcical combo of missed shots and cruel fate. Stephen misses a tough pink to the left middle, leaving the world on for Shaun…who then fouls by catching the pink with his hand! This is genuinely ridiculous, unbelievable and hilarious. The upshot is that Stephen is in, at least until he spears his cue through the table or some such.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (9-6)

This could be costly. Stephen tries to break the deadlock with a billiards shot, effectively a four-ball plant to send a red into the bottom left. He booms it, and it doesn’t drop; reds go everywhere and there’s a load on for Shaun. His first pot is poor though, leaving himself a tough cut on pink to left middle, and he’s missed it! That should serve it up for Stephen, who gets a red down of his own but then inexplicably leaves the white stranded on the upper left rail with no easy colour to go for. Both of these players are all over the show at the minute…and as I type that Shaun goes in-off, and Stephen makes a plant to land on the brown…which he misses! What an absolute mess.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire (8-0)

We’re back, and just to keep you up to speed there’s been a similar closing of the gap in the match between Barry Hawkins and Jackson Page, where it’s 7-6 to the latter.

Back at our feature event, it seems neither Shaun or Stephen has settled down from the pre-interval epic yet. Shaun cobble eight together but misses a canon on the cluster by a long way and lands stranded in baulk. Neither player seems really on it here, but Shaun has managed to get his game together at more crucial moments tonight. The black is covering a path to the bottom left here and we’re bogged down in safety play for the time being – maybe for some time yet.

Murphy 6-7 Maguire

We’re done! Shaun gets a look at a straight long blue, and drains it into the bottom right!

What a frame that was. They’re taking fifteen minutes, and you should too. We could have some finale in store here.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (61-39)

Shaun takes the plunge on a long red to the bottom right. It’s so close, but it spits out and rolls over the green pocket as a tap-in. Stephen gets it, but butchers his attempt at the blue he needs long to the bottom right. He’s now 31 behind with 27 on, and will need another snooker to tie. When he gets the chance he pots yellow, green and brown, and will go for the five point snooker for the win.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (61-29)

It’s gone wrong here for Stephen, as Shaun lands a snooker and he hits the brown trying to swerve around it, leaving a free ball. Stephen now needs a snooker. Soon enough, he gets one, fluked behind the pink when escaping one himself, and the frame’s back on! We’ve been going nearly half an hour in this frame, and my word it is tense out there.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (57-25)

Shaun takes the brown for a point, followed by the black. He’s awkward on the final red though, which is frame ball. Shaun turns it down, and plays safe; we’re in for some battle here.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (49-25)

It’s a chance for Shaun as Stephen misses a red to right middle, and he’s left another one on to the left. Shaun takes three of the remaining reds with colours to extend his lead, and pushes the final red safe. Stephen then has an absolute shocker, landing Shaun in a snooker but accidentally nudging in the pink and leaving a free ball. What a chance here for Shaun!

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (27-25)

Stephen picks up four as Shaun fails with a glancing, two-cushion escape at the first attempt, and then gets down a solitary red. There are five left out there, and Stephen picks off another with a wonderfully cued straight pot into the bottom left. He screwed all the way back to the top cushion for insurance though; this is such an edgy frame, and the last two have been a mess.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (27-19)

Shaun drains another long red as a shot to nothing, but makes an abject mess of rolling up behind the yellow and leaves a red on to the bottom left. Stephen drives it in superbly, and he’s in. What a chance this is to go into the interval as he came in tonight – with a three-frame cushion. It’s gone wrong already though, as the make-or-break nudge into the pack leaves him on nothing and it’s end of break.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire (26-0)

It’s the final frame before the interval, and it’s pivotal. Stephen breaks, from which Shaun softly drops in a long red to the bottom right and lands on the black. It’s a good chance, kept going by planting two reds into the bottom left, before he flukes not one but two reds as he opens up the pack! Stephen, sensing karma on speed dial, has a little chuckle in his chair. Shaun is marooned in baulk now, and tucks up behind the green.

Murphy 5-7 Maguire

Stephen is now on the colours, and needs the baulk varieties for the frame. All balls are on their spots now, and it’s as normal as this leftfield frame has looked so far. Stephen clears up to the pink for a break of 57, which reasserts his two-frame lead.

Murphy 5-6 Maguire (29-25)

Murphy tries to split the pack on 28, but it doesn’t work out and he’s forced to play safe. Amazingly, Stephen then flukes three reds in quick succession, and even Shaun sees the funny side of it. That’s four in this frame alone! The final two are part of a break that is stuttering along, as Stephen is really under it out there. There are two reds left out there, both in the open, and if he can hold himself together here he can pinch a crucial frame.

Murphy 5-6 Maguire (19-2)

Stephen flukes a red during a mammoth bout of up-table safety, but can’t add to it. Shaun accidentally pots a red too when trying to jar it out of the jaws of the yellow pocket to safety; what a bizarre start to this frame. Stephen then pots another red as a shot to nothing, but has a shocker when trying to roll up behind the yellow as he’s left a red on to the right middle. He slumps in his chair and laughs disbelievingly, but this is happening; Shaun pots it, and now there’s a proper chance for the first time in the frame.

Murphy 5-6 Maguire

Shaun does get those reds and colours, and a 61 in total pegs back another frame; he trails by only one.

Murphy 4-6 Maguire (44-25)

Both players miss long reds before Murphy gets back in with a red into the bottom left. The table is a bit of a mess but Shaun is gradually tidying this up. He’s added 35 so far in this break and there are four reds remaining; if he can get another three with colours he will pull back another frame.

Murphy 4-6 Maguire (9-25)

Back comes Stephen! He picks out and makes a three-ball plant to the bottom left, a superb shot, but only makes five from the chance as he misses a red to the same pocket soon after. Another chance comes soon after though as he drops a red into the right middle to land on the blue. This chance looks like sticking, until he misses a simple red thick to the bottom left, and leaves it in the jaws. That’s a shocker, but then Shaun has one of his own as he makes a hash of position on the black and his break curtails on nine.

Murphy 4-6 Maguire

There’s the first ton of the match, which Shaun then converts into a superb 130 as he empties the table. This is some start!

Murphy 3-6 Maguire (71-0)

The break hits 60, and Shaun’s eye looks right in here as then plugs the black which is frame ball. He’s got a lot to do tonight, and he’s in an aggressive and positive mood here.

Murphy 3-6 Maguire (31-0)

Shaun thunders in a brilliant long red to get us going, but from the green that follows it he runs out of position and it’s end of break. He picks out another long one to the same pocket a few shots later though, and this is a real chance. He looks really zoned in here, and a superb recovery pot on the blue takes him to 27 and counting.

Here we go

Rob Walker is baizing the players, it’s time to get it happening.

On our other table tonight it’s the conclusion of the match between Barry Hawkins and Jackson Page, with Page leading 6-3. We’ll keep you abreast.

Recap

Stephen Maguire, currently ranked 40th in the world, was the nightmare draw for any of the seeds this year and so it has proved for Shaun Murphy. A six-time ranking event winner, Stephen has rarely been on fire at the Crucible and has made just two semi-finals in 18 visits here. That’s fine, but given the talent, it feels underwhelming. Shaun was the 2005 winner and a runner-up on three other occasions including last year, has had a poor season and we saw that form in the first session. Stephen has the edge, can he see it through or will the Magician raise his level at the Crucible again?

Good evening!

Who’s for some more? This afternoon Ronnie O’Sullivan won a high quality arm-wrestle with David Gilbert 10-5, while Mark Williams threatened to whitewash Michael White before being pegged back to 7-2 at the close.

For you’re evening fare, there’s no dip in standard; we’ll be following Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy to a close, with the former 6-3 up on the latter.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is through to the second round

I dare say Ronnie will be pleased with that performance. All departments of his game looked in good order, bar a few careless missed pots, and he’s dispatched one of the most dangerous of the qualifiers who all the seeds wanted to avoid. David might have played better than 10-5 suggested, and had Ronnie under pressure at points, but when it got into the safety exchanges he was comfortably outplayed and that led to Ronnie pulling away in this match. The world number one looks in good touch, and will play the winner of Mark Allen and Scott Donaldson in the second round.

On the other table, Mark Williams now leads Michael White 7-0.

O’Sullivan 10-5 Gilbert

Ronnie makes a 42 and David concedes.

O’Sullivan 9-5 Gilbert (54-0)

Ronnie’s safety tells again, as he forces an error from David who leaves a look at a red over the bottom right. That flies down, and Ronnie is on the blue; there are half a dozen reds in good positions and this is real bother for David, who may well have played his last shot of the tournament. It’s 28 and counting for Ronnie in this break.

O’Sullivan 9-5 Gilbert (26-0)

As well as he’s played, Ronnie’s had the run today; after a safety exchange to open the 15th frame he flukes a plant into the bottom left, but his break-building prowess is to the fore again as he then crafts a chance from a very difficult table. He cobbles 26 together but then misses a bash at the green, without leaving anything.

O’Sullivan 9-5 Gilbert

Ronnie misses out on a fourth ton, but an 81 has left him one frame from victory.

O’Sullivan 8-5 Gilbert (77-0)

Frame ball red goes down, followed by the black to ring in a half-century for Ronnie. Bar a few uncharacteristic misses in the first two frames he’s looked really good this afternoon.

It’s a battering on the other table, as Mark Williams now leads Michael White 6-0.

O’Sullivan 8-5 Gilbert (50-0)

Ronnie’s safety game has David in bother in consecutive shots; the second of two superb full ball snookers behind the brown forces a miss and also leaves a red on to the bottom left, which Ronnie deposits. Very quickly, a frame-winning chance emerges and David is in big trouble here. The patience and accuracy of Ronnie in the previous safety exchange has forced this; Ronnie leant on David until he folded.

O’Sullivan 8-5 Gilbert (22-0)

Right, let’s get back to it. Ronnie needs two, David needs five. Both players miss a long sighter at the start of frame 14, before Ronnie gets in with a red to the bottom left. It’s not the easiest of tables but a brilliant blue, sending the white twice across the table, keeps him going until the break runs out of gas on 22.

O’Sullivan 8-5 Gilbert

Oh my word! David lands Ronnie in all kinds from a snooker. It’s a bit of a hit and hope, and Ronnie swerves the white, comes off the top cushion…and hits the yellow and flukes it straight into the bottom left! Not only that, he’s on the green! What an outrageous slice that is and he cashes it in, clearing up to the pink to take the frame!

Phew! Let’s all take 15 minutes, shall we?

O’Sullivan 7-5 Gilbert (49-39)

A good snooker from Ronnie, in behind the green, yields eight in misses before David connects with a deadweight escape. It’s tit for tat stuff, and David then drains a long red into the bottom right before making a hash of laying a snooker on the final red. The drama then goes up a notch as David gambles on the final red thin to the right middle. He makes the pot superbly, but hits the blue in the same shot and sends it into the yellow pocket! That’s rough luck, but he’s even luckier in that he’s not left Ronnie on the yellow. We’re on to the colours, and the importance of this little exchange isn’t lost on either player.

O’Sullivan 7-5 Gilbert (36-38)

David can’t get on any of the final three reds, and lays a snooker behind the yellow that draws a foul for a miss. Both players then get a look at a long one and Ronnie makes his with a beautiful pot into the bottom left. He can’t move the one of the two remaining reds after potting the pink though, and on we go. There’s barely anything in it, and this is a crucial battle before we go for a break.

They’re at the interval on the other table, where Mark Williams leads Michael White 4-0.

O’Sullivan 7-5 Gilbert (29-25)

Ronnie’s a little edgy here, a mixture of the sublime and the sloppy. To illustrate that point, he snicks in a long red off the back of the pack but then misses an off-straight brown to the right middle. David then misses a red, opens up everything and gets away with it, before finding a nice long red of his own to the bottom right. There’s a lot to go at here, and it’s a serious chance.

O’Sullivan 7-5 Gilbert (28-0)

Big frame ahoy, the last before the interval. David launches at a long red down the right of the table, but it spits out of the bottom right, then the green pocket, and sits up as a short-range tap-in for Ronnie. There are reds on here, and the black goes to both corners, so it’s yet another chance for a heavy visit. It’s another eyebrow-raising miss from him though as he misses a black off its spot on 28, but doesn’t leave anything.

O’Sullivan 7-5 Gilbert

It’s one miss and you’re cooked stuff so far. Ronnie serenely strolls to a break of 109 and moves two frames in front.

O’Sullivan 6-5 Gilbert (54-0)

This is practice table stuff, as Ronnie glides to a half-century with a pink to the bottom right. The winning line is coming in to view again, can he get over it this time?

O’Sullivan 6-5 Gilbert (26-0)

It’s a lot of up-table safety to start frame 12, and Ronnie eventually plays a more attacking one that really opens the bunch. That leaves David a red to the left middle. If he can make it then it could be a frame winner, but it coughs out of the pocket and he’s left the world on for Ronnie here. After two lapses in concentration so far today he’s got the perfect opportunity to register a very quick frame here.

On our other table, Mark Williams has raced into a 3-0 lead over Michael White.

O’Sullivan 6-5 Gilbert

Two mistakes, punished in full, and we’ve got a game on here folks. David empties the table for an 82 to pull back another one.

O’Sullivan 6-4 Gilbert (45-55)

This is some effort from David, who delicately picks off the reds with colours to take the lead. He goes up for the baulk colours, which will seal the frame for him…

O’Sullivan 6-4 Gilbert (45-21)

Well well, interesting stuff. Ronnie makes 45 and is coasting, before he misses a simple red to the bottom left! He’s left David in, and back-to-back steals here would smart like lemon juice in a paper cut. Can he take another one from under Ronnie’s nose? There are three reds around the black that are making things a little awkward, but it’s a chance.

O’Sullivan 6-4 Gilbert (21-0)

His long game can be a bit more erratic these days, but not here; Ronnie hoses down a brilliant long red at the start of frame 11 and screws back for the blue. It’s an awkward table as the bunch is split but close together, with various routes for pink and black blocked off. Ronnie is taking his time here, using that unparalleled break-building brain to work things out.

O’Sullivan 6-4 Gilbert

This is how David can claw this back – an excellent 67 break after Ronnie’s miss nicks the frame, and he trails by two!

O’Sullivan 6-3 Gilbert (58-37)

All of a sudden David goes favourite for the frame, as he pots one red and brings the safe one out over the left middle. He survives wobbling the pink into the bottom right, and he should now close this out with two reds in the open and the colours on their spots.

O’Sullivan 6-3 Gilbert (58-4)

Ronnie looks in lovely touch here, as another black rings in the half-century. He goes into the pack again and lands on choice of three reds, but he soon coughs a chance David’s way as he misses a routine red to the left middle. Everything’s in the open here bar one red above the left middle, and David has a huge chance to nick it.

O’Sullivan 6-3 Gilbert (22-4)

David picks up four as Ronnie shorts a one-cushion escape, and then gets a good look at a red to the bottom left. He’s missed it though, and left the easiest of starters for Ronnie. It’s a good chance, and Ronnie opens the pack up early. There’s a load on for him here, and the chance to get a better start than he made yesterday.

Let’s have at it

Our MC Rob Walker announces the players into the Crucible. On our other table this afternoon it’s a Welsh derby between Mark Williams and Michael White, and we’ll keep you up to speed on events.

Recap

The first session of this match yesterday afternoon was a strange old brew. Dave raced into a 3-0 lead, only to look on as Ronnie matchplayed his way back into things and rattled off six frames on the spin. So, what will we get today? Ronnie, the current world number one, is playing in his 30th World Championship and has never lost to Dave anywhere, so the Angry Farmer has it all to do.

We’re back

Zhao Xintong advanced through to the second round this morning after a 10-2 victory over Jamie Clarke, while Anthony McGill established a 6-3 lead over Liam Highfield.

And speaking of 6-3 leads, eyes down for the conclusion of Ronnie O’Sullivan and David Gilbert, incoming shortly.

That’s us for the morning session

There’s one frame to go here, but we’ll be taking a break until 2.15 when we’ll return with the conclusion of Ronnie O’Sullivan against David Gilbert. At that juncture, we’ll let you know what happened in the final frame here.

McGill 5-3 Highfield

Anthony gambles everything on a long red to the bottom left, misses it, and leaves the frame on. Liam quickly dishes up the necessary, eventually compiling 39 to reduce his deficit to two frames.

McGill 5-2 Highfield (15-55)

Liam helps himself to what’s free, and forces in the pink to reach his half-century. He’s on a red to the bottom right – just – but it’s a cut to a blind pocket and he leaves it hanging in the jaws. Anthony has to swerve around the blue to pick it off from distance, and doesn’t get position on a colour as a result. There are four reds left out there as we head into a safety exchange.

McGill 5-2 Highfield (14-14)

A poor break-off from Liam leaves a red on to the bottom right, and Anthony drives it in. With the black tied up he can only make 10 when he can’t force it away from the pack though, and it’s end of break. Liam then goes in-off, to no damage other than four points, but soon gets in amongst them with a red into the bottom left. This is a chance for Liam, because there are lots of open reds here.

McGill 5-2 Highfield

Anthony will have the lead overnight whatever happens, as he secures the frame with a break of 49.

McGill 4-2 Highfield (65-23)

Seeing no safety shot, Anthony resolves to pot his way out of trouble and makes a superb red into the right middle. That might well win the frame, and he’s piled on 27 more already. There are 51 points left out there, so he’s not far away now.

McGill 4-2 Highfield (38-23)

What a shot this is from Anthony, who with the white near the bottom rail drops a red deadweight into the left middle from an acute angle to land on the black. He cobbles 30 together, but badly misses a long red to the yellow pocket to keep it going. Another eight are snagged from his next visit, but the trip into the pack doesn’t work out and a safety ensues. Bitty stuff here in frame seven.

McGill 4-2 Highfield (0-23)

That’s a boost for Liam, who clearly has some wind in his sails as he drops a long red into the bottom right to hold for the black at the start of frame seven. It’s a chance and he makes 23 from it, before losing position when going into the pack.

McGill 4-2 Highfield

Anthony needs to take a couple of pinks, meaning he’ll need a snooker, but it becomes largely irrelevant when he then misses a black after the penultimate red. That’s a huge relief for Liam and Anthony soon waves off the frame.

McGill 4-1 Highfield (0-59)

A blue takes Liam to a half-century, and my oh my he’s had to work for this. There are a cluster of reds that have got the black tied up near its spot and Liam will need to address them to win the frame. He picks one off, but then misses a simple frame ball pink to the left middle to hand a lifeline to Anthony! What a miss that is, and there are still 59 points out there.

McGill 4-1 Highfield (0-29)

It’s really not running for Liam, who drops a red into the bottom left but can’t land on the black. No matter though, as he then deadweights in the green long to hold for a red in baulk! That’s a great shot, and he pulls out another on a red to right middle to keep his break going. It’s a constant battle for position but, so far in this break, Liam is winning it.

McGill 4-1 Highfield

Eventually Liam leaves the red over the yellow pocket, and Anthony puts it away. One blue later, the frame is done.

McGill 3-1 Highfield (71-29)

It’s a break of 71 for Anthony, and Liam now needs three snookers. He’ll have a go at it, and makes a quick 24 before laying a snooker that forces a miss from Anthony. On we go, with Liam now needing two snookers.

McGill 3-1 Highfield (57-1)

Both players have struggled to find their rhythm so far, but there are signs Anthony is zoning in on his. He recovers from a poor positional shot by sitting on the table, bridging high over a red and jabbing another into the bottom right to reach a half-century. The black follows as he opens up a cluster of four reds, and the frame looks a formality from here.

McGill 3-1 Highfield (18-1)

We’re back, and both players miss long reds at the start of frame five. Liam then flukes a red into the bottom right after wildly missing another, but doesn’t fluke position on a colour. This one hasn’t settled down yet, but should now; Anthony drains a long red and wells the white up before baulk, and he’s away. There’s a decent spread on here and he quickly gets the black available to both corners.

McGill 3-1 Highfield

A pressure pink, across the table and into the bottom right, keeps McGill’s break going and he registers a half-century before dropping on the final red along the rail. It’s frame ball, and he just about wriggles it in to the bottom left. The pink follows to make sure, and a total of 70 sends him into the interval with a two-frame lead.

We’ll be back with you in 15 minutes.

McGill 2-1 Highfield (33-32)

A bout of safety opens the pack up, before Anthony gets in with a booming long red to come back up for the blue. One deft split of the pink and adjoined cluster of reds later, this frame suddenly looks there for the taking. He’s wiped out Liam’s lead, and although there’s one red welded to the bottom rail which he’ll need, he’s in charge in this frame.

McGill 2-1 Highfield (0-32)

We are in a one-table situation! Well, sort of; as Zhao and Jamie have finished, the barrier comes up from between the tables and the whole Crucible can zone in on this one, with the spare table sat quietly in the shadows. It’s the last frame before the interval, and Liam is in first with a red into the yellow pocket. He makes 32, but after catching the green when trying to go in and out of baulk off the blue his break judders to a halt.

McGill 2-1 Highfield

Anthony drops frame ball red into the bottom right, and then flukes a snooker after missing the blue. Liam can’t escape from it, and now needs two snookers. He won’t be getting them mind, as Anthony bullets in the remaining red to the green pocket, and Liam concedes.

McGill 1-1 Highfield (48-12)

You join us at a tense juncture in this one. Pink and black are welded to each other, there are two reds left and Anthony has a 36 point lead. It’s been a near half-hour frame and we’re bogged down in safety, with neither player giving an inch.

The old switcheroo

As Zhao is through in double quick time, we’re going to switch our focus to the match on the other table between Anthony McGill and Liam Highfield, which is currently locked at 1-1.

Zhao Xintong beats Jamie Clarke

That’s a marker down, as they say in the trade. Zhao Xintong has obliterated Jamie Clarke in the last two days with the sort of concussive scoring that is going to make him a formidable opponent in Sheffield in the next few weeks. There are few things in sport as thrilling as a prodigy realising their talent, and we’re really seeing that with Zhao this season.

Zhao 10-2 Clarke

Zhao puts brown and blue, and then for bantz he plays the black before the pink. We’re done here, and Zhao is definitively into the last 16.

Zhao 9-2 Clarke (58-33)

He’s having a go here. Jamie pots red, black and yellow, and then lays a snooker on the green. Zhao tries to swerve and hit it, but misses the green and leaves the frame on! It’s a pressure green to it’s own pocket, which goes close but Jamie’s left it in the jaws. Zhao drops it in, and Jamie needs a snooker again. He soon leaves the brown over the bottom left though, and that will be that.

Zhao 9-2 Clarke (55-19)

Jamie’s on the board! He gambles everything on a long, slow red to the green pocket and it drops in. a Break of 19 follows, before he leaves a thin cut on a red in the jaws of the bottom right. Zhao replies with eight before missing a pink to the right middle, so this frame is still in the balance. We might be done now though; Jamie leaves one of the three remaining reds over the left middle, and a swift 13 from Zhao leaves Jamie needing a snooker.

Zhao 9-2 Clarke (34-0)

Jamie’s decided to go for it this morning, and it’s not happening for him. He misses another long red at the start of frame 12, and it sits up as a tap-in over the left middle. Zhao has a lot of work to do to develop this into a heavy scoring chance though as pink and black are tied up…until he swiftly forces pink and several other reds into play. A long pink into the yellow pocket blams into the very centre of the hole. Has Jamie played his last shot? Zhao is just cruising here, but Jamie will come back as Zhao misses an over-ambitious canon to bring the black out and it’s end of break.

Zhao 9-2 Clarke

The frame’s gone and so is Zhao’s concentration briefly, as he takes his eye off a simple red to bottom right to end his break on 82. He won’t be too bothered though, because he needs just one more frame for a place in the next round.

Zhao 8-2 Clarke (52-0)

Zhao runs out of position slightly on the black, but cuts it back into the bottom right to hold for his next red and bring up his half-century. He’s such a joy to watch, and he might still catch the breakfast bar back at his hotel today if he keeps playing like this.

Zhao 8-2 Clarke (30-0)

Jamie’s in bother again in frame 11, missing a long red to the bottom right and leaving an easy starter to the bottom left for Zhao. It’s 30 and counting already and these are set very nicely indeed, with the black on into both corners and plenty of loose reds to go at.

Zhao 8-2 Clarke

It’s showtime! We don’t get the ton when the pink rattles out of the bottom right, but after a few showboat shots an 88 from Zhao extends his lead to six frames. If Jamie can’t split this mini-session we’ll be done before the interval.

Zhao 7-2 Clarke (63-0)

It’s another poor shot from Jamie, who has a bash at making a plant while screwing back to baulk, but reds go all over and he’s left one on to the left middle. Zhao drops it in, and this is a serious chance to take the frame out now. Four reds and blacks have gone in so far, and there’s still a load in the open.

Zhao 7-2 Clarke (31-0)

Jamie leaves a red on to the bottom right straight away, which Zhao drops in without finding position on the black. Zhao’s safety thereafter is poor, leaving a red on to the bottom left, but Jamie can’t drain it from mid-range and serves up a big chance. The black is on and there are several reds in the open; Zhao starts making hay, but his break clangs to a halt on 30 when he carelessly lands touching on a red.

Here we go

MC Rob Walker gets the baizing of the boys done, and we’re underway.

On our other table today is the start of the match between Anthony McGill and Liam Highfield, and we’ll keep you up to speed with what happens there.

Just to Recap

Prior to 2022 the prodigious Zhao Xintong had only played one match at the World Championship, a 10-7 first round defeat to Mark Selby in 2019. The Cyclone has long been tipped for greatness, and this season it looks like he might be cashing in his potential. Two thrilling tournament victories at the UK Championship and Turkish Masters have launched him into the top ten in the world, and he’s arrived in Sheffield a different player.

Jamie Clarke, who qualified so dramatically after beating former champion Graeme Dott last week and beat Mark Allen here two years ago, felt it yesterday. Zhao produced a sumptuous performance to race into a 7-2 lead, inclusive of two centuries and five 70 plus breaks in total. Clarke, it’s fair to say, has a job on to take this past the interval.

Good morning

We’re only on day two! Magnificent stuff. There’s another full day of Crucible action on the way, with the conclusion of Zhao Xintong and Jamie Clarke our featured match in about 15 minutes.

Live comments

You can follow LIVE comments on every session from the World Snooker Championship 2022 on the Eurosport.co.uk website. They will begin on this page each day at 10:00.

O’Sullivan in control against Gilbert

Ronnie O’Sullivan went through the gears to secure a 6-3 lead over David Gilbert after the opening session of their first-round clash in the World Championship at the Crucible.

Gilbert came into the match having lost all seven of his tournament meetings with O’Sullivan, but brought up thoughts of a shock when racing into a three-frame lead. However, O’Sullivan got going with a ton in the fourth and never looked back to take control of the match ahead of Sunday afternoon’s concluding session.

How to watch the event

The World Snooker Championship 2022 will be available on Eurosport and discovery+, with all the latest news, reaction and highlights on Eurosport.com. Comments begin on this page at 10:00 on Saturday 16 April.

Schedule and dates

First round (best of 19 frames)

Saturday, 16 April

10:00

  • Mark Selby (1) v Jamie Jones
  • Zhao Xintong (7) v Jamie Clarke

14:30

  • Barry Hawkins (9) v Jackson Page
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) v David Gilbert

19:00

  • Shaun Murphy (10) v Stephen Maguire
  • Mark Selby (1) v Jamie Jones

Sunday, 17 April

10:00

  • Anthony McGill (13) v Liam Highfield
  • Zhao Xintong (7) v Jamie Clarke

14:30

  • Mark Williams (8) v Michael White
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) v David Gilbert

19:00

  • Barry Hawkins (9) v Jackson Page
  • Shaun Murphy (10) v Stephen Maguire

Monday, 18 April

10:00

  • Mark Allen (15) v Scott Donaldson
  • Anthony McGill (13) v Liam Highfield

14:30

  • Neil Robertson (3) v Ashley Hugill
  • Mark Williams (8) v Michael White

19:00

  • Stuart Bingham (12) v Lyu Haotian
  • Mark Allen (15) v Scott Donaldson

Tuesday, 19 April

10:00

  • Yan Bingtao (16) v Chris Wakelin
  • Neil Robertson (3) v Ashley Hugill

14:30

  • John Higgins (6) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Stuart Bingham (12) v Lyu Haotian

19:00

  • Jack Lisowski (14) v Matthew Stevens
  • Yan Bingtao (16) v Chris Wakelin

Wednesday, 20 April

10:00

  • Kyren Wilson (5) v Ding Junhui
  • John Higgins (6) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

14:30

  • Judd Trump (4) v Hossein Vafaei
  • Jack Lisowski (14) v Matthew Stevens

19:00

  • Luca Brecel (11) v Noppon Saengkham
  • Kyren Wilson (5) v Ding Junhui

Thursday, 21 April

13:00

  • Luca Brecel (11) v Noppon Saengkham

19:00

  • Judd Trump (4) v Hossein Vafaei

Second round (best of 25 frames)

Thursday, 21 April

13:00

  • Barry Hawkins / Jackson Page v Mark Williams / Michael White

19:00

  • Zhao Xintong / Jamie Clarke v Shaun Murphy / Stephen Maguire

Friday, 22 April

10:00

  • Mark Allen / Scott Donaldson v Ronnie O’Sullivan / David Gilbert
  • Barry Hawkins / Jackson Page v Mark Williams / Michael White

14:30

  • Mark Selby / Jamie Jones v Yan Bingtao / Chris Wakelin
  • Zhao Xintong / Jamie Clarke v Shaun Murphy / Stephen Maguire

19:00

  • Barry Hawkins / Jackson Page v Mark Williams / Michael White
  • Mark Allen / Scott Donaldson v Ronnie O’Sullivan / David Gilbert

Saturday, 23 April

10:00

  • Zhao Xintong / Jamie Clarke v Shaun Murphy / Stephen Maguire
  • Mark Selby / Jamie Jones v Yan Bingtao / Chris Wakelin

14:30

  • Anthony McGill / Liam Highfield v Judd Trump / Hossein Vafaei
  • Mark Allen / Scott Donaldson v Ronnie O’Sullivan / David Gilbert

19:00

  • Neil Robertson / Ashley Hugill v Jack Lisowski / Matthew Stevens
  • Mark Selby / Jamie Jones v Yan Bingtao / Chris Wakelin

Sunday, 24 April

10:00

  • Kyren Wilson / Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham / Lyu Haotian
  • Luca Brecel / Noppon Saengkham v John Higgins / Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

14:30

  • Neil Robertson / Ashley Hugill v Jack Lisowski / Matthew Stevens
  • Anthony McGill / Liam Highfield v Judd Trump / Hossein Vafaei

19:00

  • Kyren Wilson / Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham / Lyu Haotian
  • Luca Brecel / Noppon Saengkham v John Higgins / Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Monday, 25 April

13:00

  • Luca Brecel / Noppon Saengkham v John Higgins / Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Kyren Wilson / Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham / Lyu Haotian

19:00

  • Neil Robertson / Ashley Hugill v Jack Lisowski / Matthew Stevens
  • Anthony McGill / Liam Highfield v Judd Trump / Hossein Vafaei

Quarter-finals (best of 25 frames)

Tuesday, 26 April

10:00

14:30

19:00

Wednesday, 27 April

10:00

14:30

19:00

Semi-finals (best of 33 frames)

Thursday, 28 April

13:00

19:00

Friday, 29 April

10:00

14:30

19:00

Saturday, 30 April

10:00

14:30

19:00

Final (best of 35 frames)

Sunday, 1 May

13:00

19:00

Monday, 2 May

13:00

19:00

Previous Winners

The World Championship has been running since 1927 and, prior to its move to the Crucible in 1977, it was dominated by Joe Davis, Walter Donaldson, Fred Davis, John Pulman, John Spencer and Ray Reardon, with Alex Higgins and Horace Lundrum winning it once apiece. Since the move to Sheffield, the winners are:

  • 1977: John Spencer
  • 1978: Ray Reardon
  • 1979: Terry Griffiths
  • 1980: Cliff Thorburn
  • 1981: Steve Davis
  • 1982: Alex Higgins
  • 1983: Steve Davis
  • 1984: Steve Davis
  • 1985: Dennis Taylor
  • 1986: Joe Johnson
  • 1987: Steve Davis
  • 1988: Steve Davis
  • 1989: Steve Davis
  • 1990: Stephen Hendry
  • 1991: John Parrott
  • 1992: Stephen Hendry
  • 1993: Stephen Hendry
  • 1994: Stephen Hendry
  • 1995: Stephen Hendry
  • 1996: Stephen Hendry
  • 1997: Ken Doherty
  • 1998: John Higgins
  • 1999: Stephen Hendry
  • 2000: Mark Williams
  • 2001: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2002: Peter Ebdon
  • 2003: Mark Williams
  • 2004: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2005: Shaun Murphy
  • 2006: Graeme Dott
  • 2007: John Higgins
  • 2008: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2009: John Higgins
  • 2010: Neil Robertson
  • 2011: John Higgins
  • 2012: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2013: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2014: Mark Selby
  • 2015: Stuart Bingham
  • 2016: Mark Selby
  • 2017: Mark Selby
  • 2018: Mark Williams
  • 2019: Judd Trump
  • 2020: Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2021: Mark Selby

What is the format?

The epic 128-person qualifiers produced 16 players, who have emerged from that group to join the 16 top-ranked players in the world in the first-round draw.

The first round is best of 19 frames, the second and quarter-final rounds best of 25. The semi-finals are best of 33 and the final best of 35.

What is the draw for the World Championship first round?

  • Mark Selby (1) v Jamie Jones
  • Yan Bingtao (16) v Chris Wakelin
  • Barry Hawkins (9) v Jackson Page
  • Mark Williams (8) v Michael White
  • Kyren Wilson (5) v Ding Junhui
  • Stuart Bingham (12) v Lyu Haotian
  • Anthony McGill (13) v Liam Highfield
  • Judd Trump (4) v Hossein Vafaei
  • Neil Robertson (3) v Ashley Hugill
  • Jack Lisowski (14) v Matthew Stevens
  • Luca Brecel (11) v Noppon Saengkham
  • John Higgins (6) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Zhao Xintong (7) v Jamie Clarke
  • Shaun Murphy (10) v Stephen Maguire
  • Mark Allen (15) v Scott Donaldson
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) v David Gilbert

Watch and stream all the action from the World Snooker Championship 2022 on Eurosport and discovery+.

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