Snooker: Lee Hit by Williams Blitz
Byline: John Curtis
MARK WILLIAMS demonstrated why he is overwhelming favourite to capture a second Embassy World Championship crown as he blitzed Stephen Lee 7-1 in the first session of their semi-final at the Crucible Theatre last night. Williams is 8-15 on with bookmakers Ladbrokes to repeat his 2000 triumph - ahead of Paul Hunter (7-4) who will resume his clash with Ken Doherty today holding a 6-2 advantage. Potting machine Williams went into battle in the knowledge he had already regained his world number one spot in the rankings from Ronnie O'Sullivan. Lee was first amongst the balls on several occasions but he failed to capitalise and was destroyed by a ruthless performance from the 2000 champion, who had dropped just 11 frames on his way to the last four.
The Wiltshire-based player looked in a strong position in the opening frame courtesy of a 61 break but, after Williams had retaliated with a 38, he then missed an easy yellow and the Welshman cleared the colours.
World number seven Lee was also well-placed in the next but failed to pot a straightforward red into the middle and in stepped Williams with a splendid 102 to the final black.
In frame three the scenario was similar with Lee in a healthy position when leading 47-9 - but a run of 53 edged Williams home. Then the pre interval whitewash was completed with a break of 35 from Williams proving decisive.
The same pattern continued after the break as a run of 47 was sufficient to put Williams 5-0 ahead. …