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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Mark Williams increases final lead heading into home straight

John Higgins in need of last-session miracle to take Crucible crown

Mark Williams marches on in Sheffield on day two of the final
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The final: session four
BBC & Eurosport, 7pm Monday

Mark Williams is just three frames away from becoming Crucible king for the third time as he takes a 15-10 lead over his Betfred World Championship final opponent John Higgins into their concluding session on Monday evening.

There were plenty of expectations, before the best-of 35-frames final started and when he trailed 10-7 after day one, that Higgins could lift a fifth title.

But Williams, who won seven frames on the spin after Higgins levelled at 7-7, is well on his way to defeating the Scot for the third time in four matches at the Crucible and it's going to need something miraculous from Higgins to turn the clash on its head.

Higgins started day two looking positive enough. But after a fluked red in frame 18 from Williams and several missed pot attempts from the Wizard of Wishaw, the pressure of expectation, with his Welsh opponent committing fewer unforced errors, was weighing too heavily on Higgins' shoulders.

At 14-7 it looked desperate for Higgins, but after winning frame 22, fighting back from 65 points down to pinch frame 23 and compiling a run of 80 in frame 24, there was once again hope for the Scot.

Williams, who said he would do his post-match press conference naked if he wins the title, took frame 25 to make it three session triumphs on the trot and he's a best-priced 1-8 to finish the job and strip off in the oppressive Bank Holiday Monday heat.

Higgins is 6-1 to win eight of the possible ten frames that remain.

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The pressure of expectation, with Williams committing fewer unforced errors, was weighing too heavily on Higgins' shoulders
E.W. Terms
Sky bet