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It's advantage Hawkins in race with Williams to reach World final


By Adam McKendry

Barry Hawkins will take a two-frame lead into the second day of his semi-final against Mark Williams at the Betfred World Championships in Sheffield.

The Englishman holds a 5-3 advantage over his Welsh rival after a tense opening day of last-four action at the Crucible.

Hawkins raced into an early lead, rattling off a 129 break in the opening frame, before backing that up with a break of 74 in the second frame to strengthen his advantage, with Williams potting just one solitary red in response.

That changed in the third as Williams roared back, a break of 88 taking the frame and reducing the gap back to one before the pair shared the fourth and fifth frames.

Hawkins then resumed control of the tie, firing in a break of 52 to take the sixth frame before an even more impressive 90 break added the seventh, only for Williams to hit back in the final frame of the day to bring it back to 5-3.

Meanwhile, four-time world champion John Higgins leads Kyren Wilson by the same scoreline in the other semi-final.

The Scot raced into a three-frame lead with breaks of 57, 65 and 77 before Wilson - Mark Allen's conqueror in the last round - got on the board in the fourth.

A high-scoring fifth frame went the way of Higgins via a break of 69, only for Wilson to respond by winning the sixth and seventh, the latter of which came thanks to a stunning 140 break, with Higgins taking the final frame of their day's play.

Higgins and Wilson resume at 10am, while Hawkins and Williams are due back at 2.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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