TRUMP BATTLES PAST STEELY MCGILL

Judd Trump held off a gutsy Anthony McGill fightback to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship, emerging a 13-11 victor.

TRUMP BATTLES PAST STEELY MCGILL

The Ace in the Pack will now face Stuart Bingham in an intriguing quarter-final clash. The only other time the pair have met at the World Championship was back in 2015. On that occasion Bingham won out in a 17-16 epic, before beating Shaun Murphy in the final. Trump will be aiming to enact revenge this time around.

This evening’s match had looked to be on course for a one-sided finish, when 23-time ranking event winner Trump ended the second session 10-6 ahead. However, the Theatre of Dreams hosted drama of the highest order in front of a captivated crowd.

Scotland’s McGill ensured the tie went down to the wire with a barrage of breaks, while fans on the other table were treated to a nerve-shredding deciding frame in Jack Lisowski’s win over pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson.

It was McGill who immediately turned up the heat this evening, firing in a century run of 106 in the opener. Trump responded in kind with 105 to extend his lead to 11-7, but the steely Scot refused to wilt inside Sheffield’s Crucible cauldron.

Breaks of 78, 77 and 124 pulled the two-time ranking event winner back within a frame at 11-10. Bristol’s Trump took the 22nd to move within one of victory, before Glaswegian McGill reeled him in again with a break of 51 to make it 12-11.

McGill had the first chance in the 24th frame, as he battled to force a decider, but missed a tough red to the top right corner with the rest. Trump eventually earned an opportunity with a long red and crafted a break of 55 to take control of the frame, which came down to a safety battle on the yellow. Trump won that battle and got himself over the line to clinch his place in the last eight.

Trump is aiming for a second World Championship win. He won the sport’s biggest prize in 2019, when he thrashed John Higgins 18-9 in the title match. His only other appearance in a world final was against Higgins in 2011, but he lost out 18-15.

McGill has historically produced some of his best snooker over the years in Sheffield. He made the semi-finals back in 2020, when he fell short in a colossal clash with Kyren Wilson 17-16. McGill beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-12 at this stage last year, but lost his quarter-final against Bingham by the same score. On this occasion he will have to settle for making the second round.

TRUMP BATTLES PAST STEELY MCGILL

“It was one of the best sessions I have been involved in and the standard on both tables was good. Anthony was winning frames in one visit the whole time,” said 32-year-old Trump. “I don’t think when I won it, or even the first time I ever got to the final, it was anything like that. It was certainly the best session at the Crucible so far. It was amazing to be a part of that.

“I felt good. For me to get smashed up, playing the best I have throughout the tournament, is kind of strange. I can take a lot of positives and if I can start off like that and Stuart misses a few balls, unlike Anthony, then I have a good chance.

“It doesn’t get any easier. It is an amazing quarter-final lineup. It has been a great tournament so far and it is going to be even more special now. A lot of the top players have come through. After the season we’ve had, a lot of people expected shocks. It hasn’t been that way and it has made for a brilliant tournament.”

McGill said: “I can just appreciate I’m here, I loved every minute of it. I played well tonight, which was pleasing, because I didn’t in the first two sessions. I had felt bad about that because people are paying their money to come here and watch. I’m sure they had a good time tonight.”

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