Kyren stands on the brink of a semi-final spot
Kyren Wilson has had to bide his time but he is now on the verge of exacting the perfect revenge on Mark Allen '“ and reaching the Betfred Snooker World Championship semi-finals for the first time to boot.
January saw Wilson in tears at the Alexandra Palace as he lost the first triple crown final of his career – going down 10-7 to Northern Ireland’s Allen at the Masters.
But in their World Championship quarter-final at the Crucible Theatre, it’s the Kettering cueman who finds himself in complete control ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s climax, leading 11-5 – with 13 the target for a place in the semi-finals.
A pair of free-flowing players when in amongst the balls, the last-eight clash always promised to be an exciting watch and it looked destined to potentially go right to the wire when they were locked at 4-4 following Tuesday’s morning session.
But come the evening, world No.9 Wilson took control and clinched seven of the eight frames on offer to leave him requiring just two more for victory.
With heavy favourites Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan both crashing out early, the draw is fast opening up in Sheffield and although he is yet to reach a semi-final at the Crucible, Wilson has the temperament to potentially go all the way and lift the trophy come Bank Holiday Monday.
But Allen made the perfect start as a break of 60 clinched him the opening frame of the day before the Englishman reeled off runs of 52 and 125 to move 2-1 ahead.
The duo then split the next four frames – Allen’s knock of 51 being responded to with breaks of 90 and 83 – but the world No.16 ensured they would head into the evening session dead level at 4-4 by sealing frame eight.
The middle session can often more or less decide a best-of-25 contest, making Tuesday evening’s exchanges all the more important in the context of the match.
Allen had the first chance in frame nine but Wilson pounced on a mistake to seal it and followed that with a classy break of 105 and a run of 90 to establish a 7-4 advantage.
A knock of 78 in the next at least got the favourite on the board for the evening but the man nicknamed the Warrior showed his fighting spirit to pinch the 13th and restore his three-frame advantage at 8-5.
Frame 14 appeared to be even more symptomatic of where the match was heading as Allen missed the final brown, leaving it in the jaws of the green pocket, when he looked in a position to clear up and close to within two with two more to play that evening.
Instead, Wilson took advantage and a daunting 9-5 deficit faced the Northern Irish potter, which soon became 10-5.
Allen really needed to take the final frame of the evening to give himself a realistic chance of a comeback and although both men had chances, it was Wilson who cleared up with a break of 92 to put himself on the brink of the last-four.
Watch the snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.