China Championship 2018

Yan Leads In Belfast

Yan Bingtao has opened up a 5-3 advantage over Mark Williams after the opening session of the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open final in Belfast.

The 17-year-old is appearing in his first ever ranking final and bidding to become the youngest ever winner of a ranking event.

Two-time World Champion Williams is looking to clinch his first ranking title since the 2011 German Masters, but will need to overturn a deficit if he is hoping to do so.

Yan claimed the opening two frames this afternoon, before Williams cut his deficit in half. However, it was the Chinese star who went into the mid-session 3-1 ahead.

When they returned Williams fired in a tremendous century break of 104 to make it 3-2, but it was Yan who got the better of the remaining exchanges to establish his 5-3 lead.

They will return at 7pm, with a possible nine further frames in this race to nine for the Alex Higgins Trophy and £70,000 top prize.