Hawkins falls at semi-final hurdle
Hawkins falls at semi-final hurdle

Mark Williams edged a nerve-shredding semi-final with Kent’s Barry Hawkins 17-15 to book a World Championship showdown with John Higgins at the Crucible.

A tense final session saw both players litter the table with errors, but it was the Welshman who proved the strongest as he overturned a 13-11 deficit.

It was a match packed with turning points – none more pivotal than with Hawkins leading 15-14 when the Englishman from Ditton near Maidstone followed up a wonderful black with a hopeless red into the jaws.

The momentum swung back and forth, with Williams eventually drawing level at 15-15 before pinching the next frame.

Both players toiled under the Crucible’s gaze in the 32nd frame – with Williams jokingly patting his opponent on the back after a string of misses – as it came down to the colours.

And Williams held his nerve on a long pink and tight black to book a date with Higgins, who had earlier reached his seventh final with a 17-13 triumph over Kyren Wilson.