Mark Williams Carrying Welsh Flag Alone At The Crucible

By Simon Kendal-Williams

Mark Williams is the last Welshman standing at the Crucible as the Betfred World Snooker Championship enters its second week.

Williams holds a 10-6 lead over Gloucester’s Robert Milkins in their second-round clash, but Jamie Jones is out after a comprehensive defeat to Kyren Wilson.

The 30-year-old entered the final session 11-5 behind after losing the final four frames of the morning.

And number nine seed Wilson wasted little time in wrapping up a 13-5 victory, sealing his place in the quarter-final for the third successive year.

It was a disappointing way for Jones to bow out.

He had repeated his exploits of 2012 in disposing of Shaun Murphy in the first round, and recent form suggested another run to the last eight was a distinct possibility.

But despite holding his own in the opening eight frames, the second session saw Jones miss too many chances among the balls, allowing Wilson to build an unassailable lead.

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The 27-year-old now has a chance to avenge his Masters final defeat to Mark Allen when the pair meet in the next round.

Jones, meanwhile, was quick to recognise his shortcomings.

“I need to work on not getting so frustrated when I’m shut out in these longer games,” said the Neath man.

“I went missing for four or five frames and you can’t do that against these top players.

“It’s not been a great tournament, but I won three matches in qualifying and one here, so it’s not been a disaster.”

Jones says he would not be surprised to see Wilson challenging for the title next weekend.

“Kyren’s stepped up a level – he looks like he belongs out there,” he said.

“He plays the game the right way, his tactical game is very good and he scores heavily.

“He’s got it all, really.”

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Williams struggled to get going against world number 37 Milkins, an impressive winner over Neil Robertson in round one, before breaks of 65, 87 and 53 saw him edge the opening session 5-3.

And after winning the second session by the same scoreline, 43-year-old Williams needs just three more frames on Monday to secure a last-eight berth.

The Cwm left-hander is now joint-favourite among some bookmakers to lift his third world crown after Ronnie O’Sullivan left Sheffield with a whimper.

The Rocket failed to fire in an ill-tempered clash with Ali Carter, eventually going down 13-9.

The pair traded comments – and shoulder barges – during their final session as Carter celebrated his first win over O’Sullivan in 14 attempts.

Newport referee Paul Collier was forced to intervene as tempers threatened to boil over, before former world finalist Carter regained his composure to book a potential quarter-final date with Williams.


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