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Ronnie O’Sullivan joins Wilson in final on scintillating day of snooker

Both semi-finals at the Crucible went to final-frame deciders.

Ronnie O'Sullivan (file photo)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (file photo)
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN CONJURED a timely reminder of his erratic genius as both World Championship semi-finals were settled by final-frame thrillers for the first time.

Earlier Kyren Wilson fluked the green off three cushions to seal victory over Anthony McGill in an outrageous final frame which featured 186 points, while O’Sullivan looked on the cusp of defeat to Mark Selby only to blast back with three straight frames to reach the final for the seventh time.

Wilson struggled to contain his emotions at the end of what he described as a “mental” match, and added: “I can’t believe it ended like that – I didn’t want to send someone home on a fluke.”

Shell-shocked McGill, who had forced his way back into the match after trailing 13-11 overnight, had missed the first chance to win it when a bad split on the reds saw him run aground on 39.

McGill, who had already battled through two final-frame deciders in the tournament, paid rich tribute to Wilson but added: “I feel like I’ve had something stolen from me – not by Kyren, but by the snooker gods.”

The conclusion of the second semi-final followed a similar pattern as O’Sullivan produced a scintillating recovery from the brink of defeat to book his place in his first Crucible final since 2014.

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The 44-year-old looked to have lost focus when he lashed wildly at a final pink and enabled Selby to sweep one frame from victory at 17-15.

But O’Sullivan responded in extraordinary fashion, blasting a 138 total clearance followed by an equally quickfire 71 to conjure another Crucible decider.

O’Sullivan looked set to be rewarded for an aggressive split but he broke down on 64 within two balls of effective victory, but Selby’s response also floundered when he ran out of position on the final red.

After an extensive period of safety play – including another wild lash by O’Sullivan – it was Selby who wobbled, catching the middle jaw with a red and allowing his rival to sweep up and seal an improbable victory.

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