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O'Sullivan rocketing towards final

ESPN staff
May 4, 2012 « ESPN Extra Time - Liverpool v Chelsea | Chartbeat test »
Ronnie O'Sullivan lines up a pot © PA Photos
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Three-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is closing in on another Crucible final, after opening up an 11-5 lead over Matthew Stevens after a blistering afternoon's play at the World Snooker Championship.

O'Sullivan, who last won the tournament in 2008, returned for the second session of his semi-final leading his Welsh opponent 5-3, having benefitted from Stevens calling a costly foul against himself in the second frame of the contest.

But he needed no such favours to assert his dominance on the match on Friday afternoon, winning the last six frames on offer to move within six frames of a place in the final.

Stevens was the man in form when the pair resumed, making breaks of 60 and 63 to level the score at 5-5. But, after edging the next frame after a second bite at the cherry, O'Sullivan soon responded in ominous fashion - making a break of 110 to go into the mid-session interval ahead 7-5.

From that point onwards he was imperious, making frame-clinching breaks of 90 and 98 before triumphing in another close-fought frame after Stevens had squandered a good opening. That left one frame remaining in the day for the pair, and O'Sullivan underlined his dominance of the day with a clearance of 113 to open up a six frame lead.

The duo return on Saturday, with two sessions scheduled. The winner will face either Ali Carter or Stephen Maguire in the final.

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