Mark Williams was given a run for his money by World Snooker Championship debutant Sam Craigie but has a measure of control in his first round match, while Shaun Murphy will need to come from behind to beat Mark Davis.
Three-time winner Williams got his campaign underway to lead Craigie 5-4 after the opening session of his match, while an out of sorts Murphy was always playing catch-up with Davis, before suddenly regaining his best form with a century break at the end of his session - meaning the 2005 champion will resume 5-4 down.
Williams started the match poorly, falling two frames behind against a seemingly nerveless Craigie, who was making his Crucible debut.
'Some people never recover from this illness' – Woollaston on debilitating health battle
The 27-year-old raced to a lead of 74 after a shaky opening from the three-time champion to take the first frame, before Craigie got the better of a sea-saw second, capitalising on Williams missing a pink to double his advantage.
- World Snooker Championship: Draw, Schedule, Results
- 'He transformed snooker' – Allen tribute to Hearn
But The Welsh Potting Machine woke up in the third, breaking for 76 to get back in the match before levelling at 2-2 going into the interval with a 52 break.
Williams continued where he left off on the resumption to take the third frame, and continued to dominate the baize going 4-2 up.
With the match seemingly getting away from Craigie, he ended his experienced opponent’s four frame run to get back into it, sinking a blue to pull a frame back, before Williams again extended his two-fame advantage with a run of 85.
But Craigie did not let his head drop and gave the Welsh great something to think about going into their second session, achieving a break of 70 to end the opening session 5-4 down to Williams.
On the other table, Murphy began his match fairly well against Davis, taking the first frame but from there, he was largely playing catch-up.
Davis moved himself out to a 2-1 lead, a break of 62 doing the damage in the second frame, but Murphy levelled at 2-2 by taking the fourth frame 68-16.
The 2005 world champion looked to lose some of his confidence after the interval though, going 40 odd minutes not potting a ball, as Davis went 4-2 up, clearing the sixth frame 82-0.
Murphy pulled a frame back, but Davis regained his two frame advantage in the eighth frame with a break of 70, before ‘The Magician’ took the shackles off in the final frame of the morning and showed some of his best form as a century break - 113 - closed out his day trailing 5-4.
'You can't wing it' - Hendry unsurprised at Williams' exit
Williams joins Higgins and O'Sullivan as latest shock exit with defeat to Woollaston
Share this article