Mark Allen became the first player ever to make a 146 break at the Crucible as he moved ahead in his second round clash against Mark Davis.
Allen leads Davis 5-3 overnight with the first-to-13 clash resuming this morning and scheduled to conclude tonight.
The 24-year-old Antrim potter, who made it to Sheffield last week by sea and road after his flight was cancelled during the travel crisis, lost the opening two frames but held his nerve and rallied well to go into the mid-session interval level at 2-2.
Allen, a semi-finalist at the Crucible last year, edged ahead for the first time and then had an outstanding chance of a 147 maximum in the sixth frame.
After six reds he lost position by a fraction and had to take pink rather than black, but he went after the 146 and brilliantly reached his target.
Whereas a maximum would have brought him prize money of £157,000, Allen had to settle for being the front-runner for the highest break prize, which pays £10,000.
It meant he led 4-2, and with the final two frames of the session shared, Allen starts today in pole position to push for a place in the quarter-finals where world number two Stephen Maguire — who last night wrapped up a |10-4 victory over Stephen Lee — or 2006 champion Graeme Dott will await.
Although 146 breaks are more rare than 147s, Allen has made two, with his first having come in qualifying for the UK Championship in 2007.
There have been nine maximum breaks in World Championship history, with Stephen Hendry recording the most recent at last year’s quarter-final stage.
Kent-based Northern Ireland international Gerard Greene staged a brave fightback against 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy before eventually going down 10-7 in yesterday’s first round clash.
Greene had trailed 8-1 overnight but he refused to concede defeat and gave Murphy a scare before the Englishman clinched his 10th frame with a break of 87 to set up a second round clash with China’s Ding Junhui.
Greene said: “My long shots weren't great. Once he's in the balls he doesn’t miss.”
Six-time world champion Steve Davis, still rolling back the years and competing at the top level at the age of 52, leads defending champion John Higgins 6-2 with the match resuming this afternoon.