Ronnie O’Sullivan needed just one frame during Saturday's afternoon session to beat Mark Allen 13-4 and head into the quarter-finals with a record-breaking 71st Crucible win.
O’Sullivan seized control of the contest on Friday morning, and was just as dominant that evening as he took a 12-4 lead overnight, just one frame away from victory.
The players returned to the Crucible on Saturday and O'Sullivan needed just over 15 minutes to take the match.
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Allen had the first sniff of the day but called a foul on himself after a double kiss on the white, leaving O'Sullivan to attack the table. And after a terrific first red with the rest, O'Sullivan hit 32 before missing a left-handed red to the bottom right.
But Allen missed a black off the spot to let the second seed back to the table. O'Sullivan had frame-ball green in no time, but left the table with Allen in need of snooker. But a poor safety left O'Sullivan with a long red, and he cleared up the colours for good measure on his way to the last eight.
O'SULLIVAN DOMINATES FRIDAY SESSIONS - RECAP
Allen required a good start after O'Sullivan took a 6-2 lead in the morning session. and he got one in the opener of the evening after O’Sullivan missed the final red down the bottom rail.
The Northern Irishman got in the balls again in the 10th following a rare O’Sullivan safety error. Inexplicably he missed a simple pink - there won’t be many easier pots missed all tournament - and O’Sullivan made him pay with a break of 93.
Trailing by four frames, Allen needed a lot to go well. In the third frame of the session, the exact opposite happened as he potted an excellent long red only to see the cue ball feather another red and drop into the yellow pocket.
From there, it was poetry from O’Sullivan as he stroked in a long red and picked off a break of 67 to extend his advantage to five frames.
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The fans in the Crucible were on the edge of their seats in the frame before the interval as O’Sullivan raised the prospect of a 147 - 25 years on from his record-breaking maximum - when picking off 11 reds and 11 blacks. He ran out of position on the 12th, and the double failed to drop. The consolation for the Rocket was a six-frame lead.
The advantage became seven in the frame after the interval, with Allen leaving a black from a tight angle in the jaws of the bottom left and O’Sullivan cleared with a 53 to turn the screw yet further.
With the prospect of being beaten with a session to spare, Allen showed his class by knocking in his 50th century at the Crucible to head off that prospect.
Allen said he wanted to get under O’Sullivan’s skin and he had a chance to place a tiny seed of doubt when getting in first in the 15th, but he ran out of position on 49 and later lost a safety battle.
O'Sullivan punished the error with a clean red to the bottom right and cleared the colours to move 11-4 to the good.
In what was an uncomfortable theme for Allen, he got in early in the 16th but broke down and was punished.
After running out of position, O’Sullivan rectified the situation with a stunning red to the right middle and he powered through a break of 100 to move to within one frame of the winning line.
Allen would survive another day in Sheffield, but O'Sullivan needed only 20 minutes to finish off the match.
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