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Gilbert Extends Semi-Final Lead

David Gilbert got the better of the second session with John Higgins to extend his advantage to 10-6 in their Betfred World Championship semi-final.

They came into this morning with Gilbert leading 5-3, having edged the first session. The Tamworth potter kicked on from there and dominated the opening stages this morning, while four-time Crucible king Higgins looked out of sorts in the first half of the session.

Gilbert got the action underway in spectacular style, firing in a break of 125 to go further ahead at 6-3. Higgins had appeared to be in position to respond immediately, before missing a black off the spot. Gilbert capitalised by clearing to take the frame on the pink and move 7-3 in front.

A clearance of 35 then saw Gilbert take the next on the black and press home his dominance with a five-frame lead at 8-3. However, world number 16 Gilbert’s momentum was halted when he missed a crucial pink to the middle, whilst leading 56-17. Higgins went on to steal the frame on the black and trail 8-4 at the mid-session.

That acted as a catalyst for Higgins, who forced himself back into the contention when they returned. Breaks of 67, 52 and 58 helped him to claim the next two frames to make it 8-6.

Gilbert then ensured he would lead heading into this evening, claiming the 15th frame with a break of 72. There was then a dramatic last frame of the session. Higgins missed the final blue along the baulk cushion on a break of 50, allowing Gilbert to take out a tricky clearance to the black and emerge with a four-frame lead at 10-6.

They will return at 7pm to play the third session of the best of 33 encounter.