Mark Williams leads John Higgins 10-7 in the World Championship final

John Higgins and Mark Williams
John Higgins and Mark Williams

Mark Williams leads John Higgins 10-7 after the first two sessions of their World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Williams is perfectly placed at the halfway stage of the final having won the last three frames of the second session on Sunday night.

Having edged into a 5-3 lead at the end of the opening session, Williams enjoyed the perfect start to the evening when taking the first frame.

However, Higgins responded in fine style and when he produced a wonderful clearance of 117 to level the scores at 7-7, he looked to be in the ascendancy.

Williams hit back with a century of his own, though, and Higgins then missed a black off the spot in the following frame, allowing Williams to mop up with a run of 64 to go two clear.

The final frame of the evening was always going to be a key one and after Williams broke down, Higgins was well placed to make a counter attack until a poor decision was to prove very costly.

Higgins opted to try and remove the remaining tied up red which appeared to be a dead-set plant with the brown placed directly behind it.

On impact, the brown sailed into the green pocket, gifting Williams a golden opportunity to win a third frame on the bounce and land a real body blow on Higgins.

The Welshman duly held his nerve to steel the frame and go 10-7 in front as the players shook hands.

In the afternoon session, Williams set the early pace despite the late finish to his semi-final victory over Barry Hawkins last night.

A ragged display from Higgins saw Williams race into a 4-0 lead, though neither player really settled with the Welshman still to make a 50+ break heading into the mid-session interval.

Higgins came out firing upon the resumption and put together a flawless clearance of 119 of which began with five reds and five blacks.

Williams made his highest break of the match in the following frame, a run of 95 dousing the flames of a Higgins comeback, but the Scot would not be perturbed and finished the session strongly.

Breaks of 46 and 52 gave him the seventh frame and Higgins reduced his arrears to 5-3 when by dominating a crucial eighth and final frame of the session.

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