02 May 2024

Kyren Wilson fights back against David Gilbert to leave semi-final evenly poised

02 May 2024

Kyren Wilson and David Gilbert could not be separated by the end of the first session of their World Snooker Championship semi-final at the Crucible.

They finished all-square at 4-4 with Wilson, the only seed left in the tournament, having to fight back after trailing 3-2 and then 4-3 in a finely-balanced all-English clash.

Nerves clearly affected both players in an edgy start but Wilson took the opening frame with a break of 73 sweeping him clear.

A superb long red in the second boded well for Wilson but mistakes continued to plague both players with Gilbert missing a routine black that ultimately cost him the third frame.

The 42-year-old from Derby indicated that he had been put off by a disturbance from the crowd and, for the second time in the match, referee Tatiana Woollaston asked for mobile phones to be switched off.

He recovered from the distraction by firing the contest’s first century in the fourth frame, a slick 104 levelling the score at 2-2 entering the mid-session interval.

The momentum remained with Gilbert as he produced a break of 91 to take the fifth and despite a classy long red in the sixth, a disappointing error let Wilson back in and he seized his chance by compiling a break of 67.

Gilbert continued to play the better snooker as he took the seventh but the balance shifted markedly in the final frame of the session when Wilson found his rhythm to accumulate an unchallenged 88 that had the crowd anticipating a possible 147.

“What a wally” Wilson joked after squandering the opportunity by leaving himself with a tough red into the middle pocket to continue the break.

Wilson told BBC Two that he had received the disapproval of his brother Taylor for attempting the 147 rather than focusing on winning the frame.

“My brother told me off! You want to perform for the crowd and that’s why I tried for a cheeky 147. It would have been so special to make it in front of my boys,” he said.

“It was a good session, very open and attacking. There were lots of good breaks.”

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