Day eight at the championship and we now have half the quarter final places filled after a day of real tense dramatic Crucible finishes
2014 champ Mark Selby booked his place in the last eight tonight,but only after coming through a real dogfight with Sam Baird
This one was real nip and tuck in the first session and it started out again here this morning as they shared the first four to make it 6-6..From here what looked a decisive move from the world number one took him three clear at 9-6..Baird though kept his hopes alive,winning the last of the session to make it 9-7
Into the night and again Selby seemed to take control going four clear at 11-7,but from here Baird dug deep and started to drag his way back.11-7 became 11-11 as Selby showed signs of real struggle,losing the lengthy frames that are normally his forte.
Another shock was now on the cards ,but Selby is never beat till the very end and he dug deep into his reserves to take the two he need to advance to the next round with a 13-11 victory.
Earlier in the day the old man of the tournament Alan McManus reached the quarters for the second time in three years with a hard fought 13-11 win over Ali Carter.
The 45 year old started the day trailing Carter 9-7,but after winning the first of the morning with a superb black,he also took the next with a century before adding the next two to go to the interval 11-9 up.
Carter managed to stop the rot in the next to close to 11-10,but a close 22nd frame was decided with a McManus fluked snooker on the brown which put him on the brink at 12-10.Carter did rally again to claim the next with a century,but the Scot would not be denied and as he won the 24th frame to seal the 13-11 victory
Another player proving the myth that this is a young mans game is Mark Williams,who this morning held off a brief Holt rally to secure his last 8 place with a 13-8 victory.
Starting the final session with a 10-6 lead ,Williams took the first to extend that to 11-6.Holt now with nothing to lose suddenly started scoring and runs of 75 and 109 pulled it back to 11-8.
Into the next and Holt was well in again,but just when it was starting to look that this may become interesting,Williams nicked it in typical style and duly took the next as well to claim the 13-8 win.
In matches that started out today ,those who were already giving the trophy to Ronnie O'Sullivan were given something to think about as Barry Hawkins took the last three of the session to lead 5-3 overnight,
Also holding a 5-3 lead is John Higgins who just about deserved to have that edge after a quality first session against Ricky Walden.