Hawkins leads Ding in quarter-final, Allen & Wilson level

By Owen Phillips

BBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins has reached the last eight at the Crucible for the sixth successive year
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April - 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Tournament favourite Ding Junhui struggled to find his best form as Barry Hawkins took a 5-3 lead in their World Championship quarter-final.

World number six Hawkins, 39, has a remarkable Crucible record, having been runner-up in 2013 and a semi-finalist in three of the past four years.

The opening two frames were shared, China's world number three responding to a Hawkins break of 64.

But Hawkins was always ahead after that, scoring four breaks above 50.

Hawkins looked comfortable and assured, while Ding struggled to replicate the destructive display which saw him thrash Anthony McGill in round two.

Breaks of 76 and 67 did help Ding, the runner-up to Mark Selby in 2016, get back to 4-3 but Hawkins took a scrappy final frame to ensure he is two frames ahead when they resume in Tuesday's evening session (19:00 BST).

Masters finalists put on an attacking masterclass

In a repeat of January's Masters final, Northern Ireland's Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson were level at 4-4 after a high-quality and open first session.

Masters champion Allen took the opener with a break of 60 - the first of seven breaks of more than 50 in the eight frames played.

But world number nine Wilson responded with a frame-winning 52 and then went 2-1 ahead with the only century of their match so far, a carefully constructed 125.

The Kettering man, 26, had a great chance to go 3-1 up but he struggled to keep position on the colours and Allen stole the frame to level with a brilliant long black.

Wilson, making his third consecutive last-eight appearance at snooker's showpiece event, made it 3-2 with a 90 and a brilliant green with the rest along the cushion helped Wilson clinch the seventh frame.

But Allen pounced on a mistake, compiling a break of 78, to ensure a thrilling session ended all square.

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