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Snooker

Mark Williams - Sam Craigie | Ad-Free

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Thanks for your company tonight

We leave you as Williams runs through a wonderfully deadpan interview with Fouldsy and Colin Murray about the grumblings surrounding his choice of break off shot. That will continue, and so will Williams who was superb tonight.
Snooker
Murphy looking forward after he 'fell out of love with snooker'
13/07/2021 AT 16:05
We'll be back with you tomorrow for the conclusion of the first round, and the start of the best of 25 high jinks as the second round gets going. Take care out there until then, night night.

Mark Williams is through to the second round

That was The Welsh Potting Machine (TWPM) at his very finest, rattling off five on the spin to blow Sam Craigie off the table tonight. What a match Williams has set up in the second round, too; it's TWPM versus fellow Class of 92 alumni John Higgins. Two of the best to ever do it, with seven world titles, 16 Triple Crown titles and 54 ranking event titles between them. In the second round, folks; you've got to love this tournament.

Williams 10-4 Craigie

It's not a ton, as Williams can't get on the last red which is tight to the pink, but a 94 seals the victory.

Williams 9-4 Craigie (67-0)

There goes frame ball red, and I fancy we'll see a ton if Mark can rouse himself to finish so.

Williams 9-4 Craigie (47-0)

Masterful from Williams, as he clears a red away from the black and then rehouses the black on its spot, putting the frame at his mercy. He's split the pack now too, and has a red to the left middle. My days, Williams has been good tonight.

Williams 9-4 Craigie (14-0)

We're back, and Craigie catches the knuckle of the left middle with the white from a safety, leaving Williams gun barrel straight on a mid-ranger. That goes, and Williams is away again; if he can clear the black spot early, Craigie is in bother here.

Williams 9-4 Craigie

It is 9-4, as Williams mops up to the pink. We'll have a 15 minute break now, with Williams needing one more frame for a place in the second round when we resume.
A quick note on Barry Hawkins - he now moves through to the second round to face Kyren Wilson.

Williams 8-4 Craigie (64-43)

Craigie misses one of the reds long into the yellow pocket, and leaves it on there as a cut. Williams tags it in, and takes black-red-black to move to the colours. It's looking like 9-4...

Williams 8-4 Craigie (48-43)

A lovely shot by Williams off the black, potting it with delayed stun to brush a cluster of five reds into potting positions. Craigie's lead has soon gone, but Williams progressively loses control of the white and has to take on a long red to the yellow pocket, which doesn't go close. With two reds left out there this is anyone's.
Other table news: Barry Hawkins has beaten Matthew Selt 10-3.

Williams 8-4 Craigie (0-43)

It's 43 and no more for Craigie, as he misses a thin red into the bottom right from short range. Williams can't plug a similar shot on the other side of the table though, but Craigie then misses a red into the bottom right with the rest and he's left Williams with a big chance to counter.

Williams 8-4 Craigie (0-22)

Williams attempts the first five pots of the 13th, but none drop; it's Craigie that gets away first, with a straight red to the right middle from off the bottom cushion to land on the black. Now he's cooking, as an excellent shot when potting the blue into the left middle splits the pack right open for him.

Williams 8-4 Craigie

Craigie has to take a pink with his opening red, meaning he needs two snookers; after his second red he then misses the black, and folds it. Williams by four then, with one to play before the mid-session interval.
On the other table Barry Hawkins has moved into a 9-3 lead against Matthew Selt.

Williams 7-4 Craigie (71-0)

It's 23 more for Williams as yet another red goes, with frame ball black straight after it. Williams then misses another red that would end the argument, and Craigie comes back needing all 67 plus one snooker just to tie.

Williams 7-4 Craigie (41-0)

It's 41 for Williams but no more, as he goes into the pack but sticks to them and lands on nothing. Safety follows, before Craigie is forced into a thrash at a long, cut on a red down the rail and into the bottom right. He's missed it, and left Williams an easy starter over the same pocket. There's trouble inbound for Craigie here.

Williams 7-4 Craigie (19-0)

More vintage stuff from Mark, who deadweights a long red into the bottom left after Craigie's break off and immediately opens the pack off the black. He's off and running again, and this could be a heavy visit.

Williams 7-4 Craigie

My my, he's rolling back the years tonight! A lovely pot on a red into the bottom left opens the pack; that leaves a long pink into the green pocket to secure the frame, and he clanks it in despite a horrendous contact. His break is 73, and Craigie needs two snookers when he returns. Craigie gets to nine, misses the pink, and waves it off. Williams is bossing this so far.

Williams 6-4 Craigie (60-0)

When potting the black to get to 38, Williams goes into the pack but he's not on a red; he improvises with a double into the left middle though, and his break is still popping. It's a half-ton in no time again, he's in lovely touch tonight.

Williams 6-4 Craigie (22-0)

Williams does that break off, and we're underway in the 11th frame. He wins the little tactical exchange that follows too, and booms in a long red to get the first chance. Craigie hasn't quite settled yet tonight, but will need to quickly given how Williams is getting about this so far.

Williams 6-4 Craigie

It's a two-frame lead for Williams, as he picks off the two reds he needs along with blacks. Craigie isn't going to chase a lost cause thereafter, and concedes.

Williams 5-4 Craigie (63-13)

Williams is in again with a long red, and this time he's nice on the blue. After all that safety there are reds all over, but enough free for a sizeable contribution here. And here it all comes; the old, rhythmic Williams appears, knocking in a rapid half-ton and take charge here, before laying a snooker. There's 67 left on the table.

Williams 5-4 Craigie (10-13)

On the horizon, is that a pot? It is! Craigie wallops down a long red into the bottom right, but catches the jaws of the pocket with the white and doesn't land on a colour. Gah! Back to safety we go. Craigie picks up twelve in misses as Williams fails to connect on a couple of long safety shots, so points are steadily going onto the rack. Craigie then goes in-off, leaving Williams an easy cut on a red to the bottom left. We're off! Though only briefly, as Williams wildly misses a red after potting the blue.

Williams 5-4 Craigie (0-0)

Little to report early on, as ten minutes pass without a red going down. Only Williams has had a yahoo at one so far, that missed the green pocket by some way.

It's time...

Rob Walker brings out the players, let's get about it. First to 10 then for the right to play John Higgins in the second round.

Sam

This is Craigie’s Crucible debut. As things stand he’s ranked 58th in the world, and his best run in a ranking event to date is reaching the quarters in the China Open in 2019. Craigie had a good run in the qualifiers though, turfing out Ashley Hugill, Hossein Vafaei and Zhao Xintong; Fouldsy and the Wind are assuring us how dangerous he is in the Eurosport studios too, and that’s all you need to know.

The Welsh Potting Machine

He’s won one unlikely world title in his forties; can Mark win another? He’s one of the game’s greatest ever players, and a three-time champion at the Crucible. It’s been an underwhelming season to date, but he did win the WST Pro Series last month.

Good evening!

Welcome to live coverage of the evening session of day five of the 2021 World Snooker Championship. Coming up shortly we’ll have the conclusion of Mark Williams versus Sam Craigie for you. It’s tight, with Williams 5-4 ahead, and we’ll be with it all the way to its conclusion.

What’s on the other side?

Glad you asked. That’ll be Barry Hawkins against Matthew Selt, with The Hawk leading it 6-3. You'll be kept abreast of developments.

---

That's our afternoon coverage done

Join us this evening for the end of Mark Williams 5-4 Sam Craigie. The first session was a jazzer, so I urge you not to miss it.

Judd Trump is through to the second round

It was 3-2 on the day, but 10-4 overall. Liam left himself a K2 to get over against the world number one, and never got close. That was impressive stuff from Judd, as good as anything we've seen from any of the top seeds so far, and he advances to face David Gilbert in the second round.
On our other table, Selby leads Maflin 3-1.

Trump 10-4 Highfield

A swift 22 from Judd puts it beyond doubt, and missing the final red to the green pocket is an irrelevance. He's through.

Trump 9-4 Highfield (52-22)

Liam cobbles together 22, inclusive of an excellent cut on a red to right middle, but then overcuts a black into the bottom right and leaves it in the jaws. This is bother, as he's left Judd the match.

Trump 9-4 Highfield (52-0)

It's a half-ton in bare minutes for Trump, but he jumps out of a straight red into the green pocket before he's finished the shot and it rattles out of the jaws! That was careless, and he's left plenty on here for Liam to get back in this frame.

Trump 9-4 Highfield (22-0)

Judd's off. A booming long red to the bottom right gets him in, followed by dumping in the pink and spreading reds around. He wants out of here in the next ten minutes. There's 22 in the bank already, the black is on to both corners and there are plenty of open reds to go at.

Trump 9-4 Highfield

Liam's best break as a pro is 140, and there's enough on the table for him to beat that. In having to take pinks with remaining reds though, that chance disappears. No matter; a 138 at the Crucible is still something to shout about, and Liam empties the table to rack that up.
Judd still needs a frame to advance then, and will be seeking it when we return in 15 minutes. Elsewhere, Selby has chalked up another against Maflin.

Trump 9-3 Highfield (0-68)

This is defiant stuff; the pink takes Liam to 68, off which he stuns into four nearby reds that are all on to various pockets as a result. The frame is a certainty; can he kick on and ton up?

Trump 9-3 Highfield (0-30)

Liam in first in the 13th, and clearly in the mood to take it to the final mini-session. He's piled on 30 already, is on the black and has two reds to go for before he has to think about disturbing the pack. Liam's on the brink, but he's composed and assured here.

Trump 9-3 Highfield

Judd is hunting his 85th ton of the season; Liam has 89 in his entire career, not a bad effort at all rather another way of marvelling at just how good the ace in the pack is.
He has to make do with a run of 85; oh the indignity. On the other table, it’s still Selby 2-0 Maflin

Trump 8-3 Highfield (37-6)

Liam clips in a starter to middle, but lands on nowt so we play some safety before he gets in again with a nicely-cued red, only to miss the next with his back arm swaying lie a tree in a hurricane. Judd hasn't looked himself today, but there are plenty of points freely available for him, so he dives right in.

Trump 8-3 Highfield

Liam took that final opportunity well, while on the other table Selby now leads Maflin 2-0.

Trump 8-2 Highfield

Well, er, um. A slightly loose shot leaves a pink needing cutting, but he makes such a mess of it that it doesn't even hit the jaws. He might escape because Judd needs all that's left and the pink is up in baulk, so potting it then getting down for the black will be hard ... and Judd underhits the pot! A black-ball frame it is, and Judd plays a poor safety, leaving Liam another cut ... which he sinks!

Trump 8-2 Highfield (4-11)

Should Judd win this match his status as world no1 is guaranteed for the start of next season - had he lost and were Ronnie to become world champion, Ronnie would usurp him. But after minor back and forth, Liam rasps home a red ... only to kiss a rogue red and finish on nowt. Bah. And then it happens again, a steadily-eliminated long red leaving him in a spot of bother, forced to play off the side cushion to hit the green. Good shot, and when it helps him sink the next red, this time he gets on the black; can he take the opportunity?

Trump 8-2 Highfield

Liam had good chances in that frame but couldn't take them and he's thinking about a kip in his own bed. On the other table, Selby has taken the first frame off Maflin.

Trump 7-2 Highfield (69-24)

Or will it? Judd tries to roll in a red and misses, so Liam has a little go then sticks him in behind the black. The two remaining reds are above the blue and close to the bottom cush; Judd hits the latter second go, and with perfect weight, so we'll enjoy a safety exchange ... until Judd clips in a delicate red. Any colour now and Liam will need snookers, so the black goes down and there we go.

Trump 7-2 Highfield (61-24)

"I need an eye-test if this goes," says Dominic in co-commentary, when Judd eyes up a red, the potting angle to which is encroached upon by the pink. But he sees it away, of course he does, only to be stymied by a kick that brings Liam back to the table. The balls aren't nicely spread, but he misses one of the available ones with the rest, trying to disturb two that are on the side cushion, and that'll be another frame to Judd.

Trump 7-2 Highfield (27-24)

Judd leaves Liam a nice little starter and with the black available, there are points to be had here. But he runs out of position soon enough and has to play safe, taking the white back up to baulk. A safety exchange doth ensue, Judd earning four when Liam misses a thin contact, before a fine red get hi away and, unusually given a frame of this ilk, the high-value colours are still available.

Trump 7-2 Highfield (0-24)

Judd leaves Liam a nice little starter and with the black available, there are points to be had here. But he runs out of position soon enough and has to play safe, taking the white back up to baulk.

Afternoon all

Murphy and Davis finished 5-4 Davis, so the upset is on when they return to play to a finish tomorrow afternoon. But before that, we've got Judd Trump 7-2 Liam Highfield and Mark Selby-Kurt Maflin. We'll be concentrating on the first of those matches, for as long as it takes.

That's us done for the morning

Join me at 2.25 for the end of Trump 7-2 Highfield

Williams 5-4 Craigie

Well done Sam Craigie. A run of 70 seals the frame, and he ends his first Crucible session bang in the match against a three-time champions and all-time great. He went over an hours without potting, but won two of the last three to close the gap and tonight's deciding session should be a bazzer. On table two, Davis looks good to make it 5-3 against Murphy, but there's mileage in frame eight yet.

Williams 5-3 Craigie (8-54)

But no! Mark misses a simple pot to middle and can Sam take his third chance to secure the frame? He's looking good, cueing nicely with the balls nicely spread; in practice, he'd nail this in no time, but this isn't that.

Williams 5-3 Craigie (8-15)

Sam hacks at a plant in the pack, catching it far too thick, but Mark can't capitalise and this is a chance for Sam. As is his wont, he splatters the pack as soon as he can, but is soon playing another cut-back to middle ... and as has been his wont this morning, he misses it thin. Mark, though, can't capitalise, rolling to right corner and setting off convinced it's in. But it's a day five table and the pocket won't accept it; Sam, though, misses a cut-back black and given the lay of the table, you'd expect that you be the frame.

Williams 5-3 Craigie

A run of 85 does the job; Sam will know that if he wins the last one of the morning, he's in the match, but if he loses it he's struggling. On table two, a desperate clearance from Murphy dug him out of a hole, and he now trails Davis 4-3

Williams 4-3 Craigie (82-0)

It's been a serious piece of break, has this, and with a red to corner Mark guarantees himself a lead going into the final session.

Williams 4-3 Craigie (37-0)

Sam misses his thin brush on the side of the pack, sending the white straight into the green pocket, not unlike the below. Then, after some safety, a further error offers Mark a "smelly red" into the middle, which he despatches with typical elan. He's manufacturing a decent chance here, but the cluster needs digging into imminently.

Williams 4-3 Craigie

Sam drains the blue and is back in the match. On table two, Davis now leads Murphy, the number seven seed who went out in round one last term, 4-2.

Williams 4-2 Craigie (40-61)

No, Mark overcuts a red and Sam sends it down - but unconvincingly, necessitating a difficult green, which he sinks. He's clearly decided that if it's on he's going after it and rightly so, because no one wants to play safety with the venerable Mark J. And it works too, as he quickly makes the frame safe ... or does he, missing the blue with just one snooker required. Mark returns, but it's hard to see him retrieving this.

Williams 4-2 Craigie (27-41)

Sam runs out of position so it's end of break ... or is it?! He smashes home a sensational long green ... but after working his way down to the business end, misses a black he should drain. That'll likely cost him the frame.

Williams 4-2 Craigie (12-21)

What an introduction to the Cruce this is for Sam: two great frames, then four miserable ones getting schooled by one of the greats. He takes a break to get himself straight, then misses a tough red left by Mark's break, the first time it's gone wrong like that. But this is developing into another scrappy one, minor breaks and safety play tying up the high-value colours. But then a mistake from Mark, catching a red insufficiently thin, hands Sam a chance that also allows him to bring the black into play and he really needs to deal with this.

Williams 4-2 Craigie

Four in a row for Mark, who's looking very smooth now. On table two, Davis now leads Murphy 3-2.

Williams 3-2 Craigie (72-3)

Another little run from Mark, 14 this time, leaves Sam needing a snooker. Mark actually misses a pretty simple red to extend his lead, but it doesn't matter because next visit he creams home a long one. Sam needs to find something because this is getting away from him quickly.

Williams 3-2 Craigie (42-3)

It's nearly an hour since Sam last potted, and I'm sure it feels like it's longer. The balls are so well spread, but Mark's canniness means he never gets a look at one which goes ... until he's left a tempter, long and straight, which he cues beautifully! This game! A very fine yellow follows, the white yanked back down the table, but then he clips a stray red with one he's seeking to send down the left-middle, and that's going to cost him. Not a lot - there are three reds clustered on black cush and as I type there's another pod of two - but another chunk of pints that make it extremely difficult for him to win this frame. There are 67 points left, but good luck taking blacks with all those reds.

Williams 3-2 Craigie (9-0)

Lovely from Mark, a long red clocked home and followed by a black, just about. But he can only make nine, so we're back on safety and we know how that goes.

Williams 3-2 Craigie

This is great stuff from Mark, who's won three on the spin; on table two, they're back after the interval and it's 2-2.

Williams 2-2 Craigie (64-12)

They tap about for a bit, Mark feeling bad that Sam's still to pot so helping him along with some fouls. And it's Mark who gets the next chance, except a poor positional shot forces him to play safe off the yellow ... only for him to get right back to the table, whereupon he nudges in another useful little break prior to playing a telling safety, white up in baulk behind green and brown. Sam misses, the opens the table, and this is going to be three in a row for Mark. In commentary, Anthony says that playing Hendry and Ronnie, you get comfy in your seat because you know you're not getting back involved, but against Mark you always think you're on the cusp of involvement, except you're not.

Williams 2-2 Craigie (15-0)

Sam hasn't potted since going 2-0 up, but he flukes a snooker behind the brown ... which Mark escapes. That's the thing, really - you might get the better of him in a few exchanges, but in a best of 19? Fogedaboudid.

Williams 2-2 Craigie (15-0)

Mark gets rid of the first red but doesn't have much angle or scope to dig into the pack off the black, so that's end of break. It's mark who gets in next though, rattling home a long one with the rest, but can only follow it with a pink and we're back on safety. Sam did well in that aspect early doors, but he's looking a little ragged now.

Right, off we go again. Excellent.

On table 2, Murphy is well-placed to make it 2-2 against Davis, leading by 31 points.

Williams 2-2 Craigie

Welcome to the big boys' club, Sam. A 52 break levels the match at the interval, and well though the debutant has played, he's lost his lead. See you in 15.

Williams 1-2 Craigie (57-0)

That error from Mark leaves the green over its own pocket and a period of stalemate follows before Mark finds a lovely double; his snooker brain is off the scale, it really it, and there's every chance it's earned him a run that'll make it 2-2. This has been a really fun mini-session, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Williams 1-2 Craigie (18-0)

Yeah, here we go. Mark nails a scrumptious long pot, but forced to play safe after the black, he miscues and leaves Sam a chance - blue and black are both available. But he misses badly into the middle - that looks likely to cost him - but then Mark clips the green trying to go past it on his way in and out of baulk, so we're back playing safety.

Williams 1-2 Craigie

A run of 76 gets Mark on the board, and this is simmering nicely. On the other table, Davis has equalised; he and Murphy are at 1-1.

Williams 0-2 Craigie (62-0)

Just what Mark needed, this.

Williams 0-2 Craigie (25-0)

Mark breaks off the top cushion, and the Sheriff notes that players have been asked for their thoughts on banning it which, he reckons, means they've already decided. He points out, though, that it means the black is never out of commission, and it's soon going down corner pockets because Mark pots the first red and gets to work.

Williams 0-2 Craigie

Not so many congratulations as they re-rack this time, eh! Meanwhile, on the other table, Murphy leads Davis 1-0 but trails 74-0 in frame two.

Williams 0-1 Craigie (57-50)

And there it is! Mark sees off the red with a clever cross-double, and removing what's left should be a formality; the black is on the top cushion but he won't need it. BUT NOW THEN! A poor shot off the brown means the blue is tricky, it goes down but the pink is harder then necessary, and Mark misses it! This game! Sam then crashes it home long, gets a lovely flick off the black - what a shot that is! - and that's going to be 2-0!

Williams 0-1 Craigie (35-50)

Now then. Mark misses a pink into the middle - it spins, wobbles and leaves - then Sam jawses a red down the side and into the corner. That one really looked like it was down - "it's a Wednesday pocket," says the Sheriff of Nottingham. "On Saturday or Sunday that goes in". But Mark then misses a plant, so Sam returns with work to do, but as warm favourite for the frame. The last red will be key, close to the side cushion, which incites Sam to snuggle in behind the brown; Mark misses his first go at hitting it but his second does just what he wanted. Already, this is a huge frame, the kind which Williams is so wont to pinch; if he wants to win, Sam can't be playing this well and find himself at 1-1 after two.

Williams 0-1 Craigie (22-34)

Sam makes his first error, siding a pink to the middle that looks for all the world like it's down, only to clip the near knuckle. That invites Mark J to the table, and he looks set to profit from all Sam's hard work.

Williams 0-1 Craigie (0-27)

In commentary, Anthony Hamilton explains that Craigie is a sound bloke and one of those the players rate. He's back at the table too, after Mark takes on a hopeful plant and misses. The black is on its cush so any break will entails pinks and blues, and he's doing a pretty good job of going after them - he looks in terrific touch and tempo; this is shaping up into a nice little altercation.

Williams 0-1 Craigie

Fergal O'Brien and Yan Bingtao both made tons to open their Crucible careers, but Sam falls down on 74. The ref, presumably stunned by his coolness, accidentally calls the frame for Mark J, who acknowledges the smartness of the work when they sit down. That's nice, and if it breaks his concentration so much the better.

Williams 0-0 Craigie (0-79)

The fouls have given Sam a caffeine shot here - he doesn't need to pot as many balls as usual to get over the line here. But he's calmly going about his business draining them anyway, and it's going to take something horrible to deprive him of this frame.

Williams 0-0 Craigie (0-33)

Craigie is ranked 58 in the world and got to the Crucible by beating Hugill 6-3, Vafaei 6-0 and Xintong 10-9 having trailed 3-0 and 5-2. Anyhow, he's first in with a red - that should settle the nerves a little - but he can't capitalise. Then, with the balls leaning to the left of the table, Mark finds himself trying to get a feather on the sole red on the right, missing various efforts before eventually coming off the side cushion and going in-off. This game! Sam, though, doesn't care and quickly sees it away, making his way down the table off the brown where the balls are nicely set. He couldn't have hoped for a better chance than this.

Right, off we go!

The players are about to join us

Craigie is making his Crucible debut; gosh, he must be feeling feelings right now.

Morning all

It's a lovely sunny day out there, so draw the curtains, pull down the blinds, and get stuck into some glorious snooker. We'll be focusing on Williams-Craigie, but keeping a good old eye on Murphy-Davis too. On y va!

Today's schedule

10:00
  • Mark Williams v Sam Craigie
  • Shaun Murphy v Mark Davis
14:30
  • Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin
  • Judd Trump 7-2 Liam Highfield
19:00
  • Mark Williams v Sam Craigie
  • Barry Hawkins 6-3 Matthew Selt

Yesterday's results

10:00
  • Mark Allen 10-2 Lyu Haotian
  • Jack Lisowski 10-9 Ali Carter
14:30
  • Ding Junhui 9-10 Stuart Bingham
  • Judd Trump 7-2 Liam Highfield
19:00
  • Mark Allen 10-2 Lyu Haotian
  • Barry Hawkins 6-3 Matthew Selt

Recap: Allen powers into second round, Bingham beats Ding in final-frame decider

Mark Allen cruised into the second round of the World Championship with a 10-2 win over Lyu Haotian.
The Pistol has described himself as having zero form this term, but he looked good in setting up a potential meeting with Mark Selby in round two.
Elsewhere, Stuart Bingham progressed to round two with a thrilling 10-9 win over Ding Junhui.
The pair were forced to come back to play the final frame of their match in the evening, after they were forced off at 9-9 due to the session overrunning.

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