Ronnie O'Sullivan was at his very best against Mark Allen as he surged into a 6-2 lead in the morning session.
O’Sullivan got off to a rapid start with a break of 87, but Allen levelled up with a break of 68 in a high quality opening to the match.
And the level did not drop as ‘The Rocket’ got his 188th Crucible ton – the 1158th of his career - to move into a 2-1 lead with a clearance of 131 after a light-hearted opening to the frame.
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Allen folded on 59 in the fourth to ensure O’Sullivan moved into a two-frame lead at the interval with a break of 69.
There was not to be a century in the fifth for O’Sullivan as he lost position on the final red, but a 96 extended his lead further.
O’Sullivan continued to mop up and he fired in a quick 38 to move into an even more commanding lead before winning his fifth frame in a row with a break of 57.
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Allen ran the risk of being virtually out after one session and in the eighth frame, Allen thumped the table in frustration as his cue ball drifted off course.
But the Northern Irishman did reduce the deficit - albeit only marginally - as O'Sullivan conceded to leave him four adrift.
O'Sullivan hits masterful century to move two frames clear of Allen
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