Friday, January 18, 2013

Williams wins Welsh battle

Mark Williams came from 1-4 behind to beat good friend and fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens in their opening round clash of the Betfair snooker Masters at the Alexandra Palace.
The 2003 winner looked to be struggling for form in the early exchanges, allowing Stevens to go into a 3-0 lead. A turning point in the game then came in the fourth frame where the 2005 World Championship runner-up missed the brown when he looked on course to steal the frame on the colours. Williams then stepped in to go into the mid-session interval at 1-3 instead of 0-4.
However, despite losing fourth frame, Stevens came out after the break to extend his lead to 4-1. It could easily have been a bigger advantage if the 35-year old had taken his chance in frame six but he allowed Williams in for turned out to be the start of an incredible comeback.
The former two-time winner of this tournament won five consecutive frames to advance where he will now face Mark Selby in the next round.
The world number one, favourite in the Masters betting, also had to win five frames on the spin to get past Stuart Bingham after trailing 1-5. The Jester from Leicester looked to be heading out in the final opening round game of the draw. However, last month’s UK Championship winner found his best snooker when he needed it the most to keep up his fantastic record in the competition.
At 5-5, both players had chances at the table but Bingham looked to have lost his edge after being sat in his seat for large parts of the previous four frames.
Selby has reached the final on three occasions in the invitational only event, winning the tournament twice.

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