Anthony McGill knocks Ronnie O’Sullivan out of World Championship

Anthony McGill held his nerve to win a World Championship epic against Ronnie O’Sullivan as a Crucible classic unfolded under the Friday night lights.

Ronnie O'Sullivan (right) bumps elbows with Anthony McGill after the Scot's victory at the Betfred World Snooker Championships at the Crucible. Picture: George Wood/PA Wire

A rousing fightback from the Rocket teed up a nerve-jangling decider but underdog McGill, the world No.16, showed all his big stage bottle to battle over the line in a heart-thumping 13-12 last 16 victory.O’Sullivan had trailed 10-6 heading into the evening session after a ruthless Friday morning assault from McGill.But the six-time Crucible king came flying out of the traps as breaks of 97, 73 and 71 reeled the Scot in and levelled at ten frames apiece.The pair exchanged a cagey couple of frames before O’Sullivan overcame a foul on his waistcoat to edge into a 12-11 lead.McGill made a brilliant break of 136 in the 24th to take the game to a decider and after a mistake by O’Sullivan on the middle pocket, the Glaswegian held himself together to book a spot in the Sheffield quarter-finals.The Rocket had raced into an early 4-1 advantage on Thursday morning as fluent visits of 138, 105 and 81 gave the returning Crucible crowd a long overdue source of entertainment.But a stirring fightback from McGill saw him level heading into Friday morning’s second session, with the two-time ranking event winner making a fine seventh-frame 97 to keep O’Sullivan on his toes.And a brutal Friday morning assault saw McGill open up a stunning 8-4 advantage, as breaks of 71, 126 and 89 left the Rocket slumped in his chair – and his title defence in tatters.O’Sullivan, chasing Stephen Hendry’s record of seven World Championship titles, did pull one back in the 13th frame as a break of 89 cut McGill’s lead to three frames.But further efforts of 105 and 56 from the battling Scot opened up a remarkable 10-6 lead heading into Friday night’s climax.The evening session did not disappoint as O’Sullivan, runner-up in five ranking events this season but yet to taste silverware since lifting the World Championship last August, came flying out of the traps.The 37-time ranking event winner knocked in consecutive breaks of 71, 97 and 73 to stun McGill and level the scores at 10-10 at the mid-session interval.A drawn-out 21st frame followed as both players felt the pressure but O’Sullivan held his nerve to edge back in front.The next frame was always going to be crucial to McGill’s hopes and it was the Scot who clinched it, admirably holding his never to take the game to the wire.The pair then went to 12 frames apiece to take the game to the wire – after a brilliant 136 from McGill – and the Scot capitalised on a Rocket mistake to reach the last eight.Elsewhere, on Friday, world No.3 Neil Robertson opened up a 9-7 lead against fellow left-hander Jack Lisowski in their last 16 clash.Kyren Wilson. the 2020 runner-up, reeled off six consecutive frames to help open up a 9-7 lead against 2013 runner-up Barry Hawkins, while Mark Williams led John Higgins by five frames to three in their second round contest.

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