Anthony McGill placed himself firmly in the driving seat against defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, after establishing a 10-6 lead in their second round encounter at the Betfred World Championship.
The Scot had trailed six-time Crucible king O’Sullivan 4-1 during the opening session. However, he fought back to end yesterday’s play at 4-4. In the process, he spurned a golden opportunity for a 147, breaking down on 97 with the balls at his mercy. However, he quickly overcame the disappointment to establish a stranglehold on the tie.
McGill, who lost an epic semi-final against Kyren Wilson 17-16 last year, took the first four frames this morning to make it seven on the bounce in total. Breaks of 71, 126 and 89 helped him to move into a commanding 8-4 lead at the mid-session.
When play resumed O’Sullivan stopped the rot with a break of 92. However, runs of 105 and 56 moved McGill just three frames from a famous win. O’Sullivan ended the session with a contribution of 69 to remain in touch heading into the concluding session.
They will return to play the remainder of the best of 25 match on Friday evening from 8pm.
On the other table, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins are locked together at 4-4 after their opening session.
Both players have been runner-up to O’Sullivan at the Crucible before, with Wilson losing last year’s final and Hawkins falling just short in 2013.
The pair are Crucible specialists having made 11 quarter-final appearances between them. However, only one can make the last eight this year.
They shared the opening four frames this morning, before a run of 89 saw Hawkins take the lead at 3-2. Wilson restored parity with a century break of 107 to make it 3-3. The Hawk responded by composing sublime break of 123 to take the lead once more.
However, Wilson clinched the last to end the session at 4-4.