2016 World Championship (Day 8) - McManus, Williams & Selby march on

11:46:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Interesting 8th day here at the Crucible where the 2016 Betfred World Championship edition is taking place, Alan McManus, Mark Williams and Mark Selby booking their quarter-finals place after some pretty intense matches.

Despite the fact that "Captain" Ali Carter led the way 5-3 and 9-7, when the last session started, Alan McManus made the most of it: he dramatically won the opening frame on the black and added a great 119 to draw level at 9-9 plus grabbed the next frame as well to get into the leading chair for the first time since the start of the match.

Carter had a great chance to catch up with his opponent thanks to a 61 break, but the Scottish player was sure to clear the table and move further away at 11-9 up as the interval was kicking off.

"The Captain" managed to stop the root with a break of 71, but when Alan won a genuine thriller to make it 12-10 everything seem to be going his way.

The suspense raised when Carter made a solid 100 to pull back a frame, but his opponent won a scrappy frame-affair and closed the match 13-11. He was safely landing in the quarters.

Next in line for a place in the quarter-finals is Mark Williams who comfortably beat Michael Holt 13-8 after leading 10-6.

As the last session started, Willo was the first one but more importantly took the 17th frame with a top break of 50 to extend his lead.

However, Holt fought back in style by using breaks of 75 and 109 to pull back two consecutive frames and would have pushed for a third one if he hadn't mistakenly potted the black on 56, this allowing his Welsh opponent to come to the table and win the frame on the colours for a 12-8 lead.

From that point on it was just a matter of time before Williams could hit a winning break (in this case a 58) and record victory for a place in the next round.

The day ended with a dramatic and very late match, Mark Selby and Sam Baird meeting for their last session; the "Jester" holding a 9-7 advantage over him.

Selby looked sharp as a knife at the beginning of the session, top breaks of 134 and 84 bringing him two consecutive frames, but somehow he lost his momentum and focus allowing Baird to get back in the match.

Sam won the next two frames, added a third (clinched on the pink) to go just one behind and pushed his luck with a scrappy 22nd one to draw level at 11 apiece. This was on!

The former world champion felt the imminent danger and put himself back together, although his performance was far from his best, in order to regain his lead with just a top break of 35 and get across the line with a 54 for a 13-11 victory.

At the press conference, Selby said: "I was missing balls that I wouldn’t normally miss, and Sam seemed to be getting stronger. At 11-11 if I had been someone else sat watching, I would have made Sam favourite.

"I didn’t play in the last two tournaments so my match sharpness isn’t there, I’m inconsistent and it’s something I need to work on. I’m still in the tournament and I can still improve."

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Barry Hawking got together in a re-match of the 2013 World Championship final, "the Hawk" ending the session 5-3 up.

He was actually the one to break the ice with a top break of 54 to which O'Sullivan responded with a classical 139.

Barry rushed in and made a 102 to regain control of the match, but O'Sullivan took the next two frames with runs of 88 and 103 to go 3-2 in front.

Still, the following three frames entered into Hawkins' pocket thanks to a myriad of breaks (43, 49 and 43) for a 5-3 advantage over the 5-time world champion.

The same scoreline was obtained by John Higgins in front of Ricky Walden after their first session, Higgins opening with a break of 62 and his opponent replaying with a 56 to make it one apiece.

The next two frames were shared, but Higgins took the 5th and the 6th with a top break of 65 to go 4-2 up.

Walden managed to pull one back, but in the end it was Higgins and his break of 107 who got the better view for a 5-3 lead.

Day 9 of the World Championship match schedule:

Judd Trump v Ding Junhui
Mark Allen v Kyren Wilson

Ricky Walden v John Higgins
Barry Hawkins v Ronnie O'Sullivan

Judd Trump v Ding Junhui
Mark Allen v Kyren Wilson