Jak Jones Overcomes Shaky Start To Open Route To World Championship Final

Jak Jones in action during their semi-final match against Stuart Bingham (not pictured) on day thirteen of the 2024 Cazoo World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. Picture date: Thursday May 2, 2024. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Jak Jones Overcomes Shaky Start To Open Route To World Championship Final

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By David Williams

Jak Jones secured a solid base from which to chase his debut appearance in the final of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

There was little to pick between the last four in the tournament, with Welsh star Jones fighting back to 4-4 in his semi-final against Stuart Bingham after Kyren Wilson and David Gilbert also battled to stalemate at the Crucible.

Wilson, the only seed left in the tournament, came from 3-2 and 4-3 down to go in level after the first session in Sheffield.

But Jones produced an even braver comeback against the 2015 champion, recovering after a nervy and error-strewn start to turn a 3-0 deficit into parity by the end of the evening.

The best of 33 contests resume on Friday with everything to play for.

Playing a single table set-up at the historic venue for the first time, Cwmbran potter Jones allowed some sloppy shots to creep in as Bingham followed up a solid first frame with a break of 94 in the second.

Jones then missed a pair of presentable reds at the middle pocket to slip further behind, before Bingham’s failure to put away the blue opened the door just before the interval.

Jones’ safety had been better than his potting but he took the chance to show some quality and was sufficiently buoyed to take the first two frames after the restart.

Bingham, a former world number two and winner over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the previous round, hit back to reclaim the lead with a clinical break in the seventh. But an entertaining contest wound up all square as the pair traded half-chances in the last frame of the night, before Jones finally closed it out.

Nerves were also on show in the early match, which began with a break of 73 for Wilson.

A superb long red in the second boded well for Wilson but mistakes continued to plague both players with Gilbert missing a routine black that ultimately cost him the third frame.

The 42-year-old from Derby indicated that he had been put off by a disturbance from the crowd and, for the second time in the match, referee Tatiana Woollaston asked for mobile phones to be switched off.

He recovered from the distraction by firing the contest’s first century in the fourth frame, a slick 104 levelling the score at 2-2 entering the mid-session interval.
The momentum remained with Gilbert as he produced a break of 91 to take the fifth and despite a classy long red in the sixth, a disappointing error let Wilson back in and he seized his chance by compiling a break of 67.

Gilbert continued to play the better snooker as he took the seventh but the balance shifted markedly in the final frame of the session when Wilson found his rhythm to accumulate an unchallenged 88 that had the crowd anticipating a possible 147.

“What a wally” Wilson joked after squandering the opportunity by leaving himself with a tough red into the middle pocket to continue the break.

Wilson told BBC Two that he had received the disapproval of his brother Taylor for attempting the 147 rather than focusing on winning the frame.

“My brother told me off! You want to perform for the crowd and that’s why I tried for a cheeky 147. It would have been so special to make it in front of my boys,” he said.

“It was a good session, very open and attacking. There were lots of good breaks.”


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