Mark Williams claims gripping UK Championship victory to set up O’Sullivan quarter-final meeting

Welshman edges world no 106 Liam Highfield 6-5 to make last eight at York Barbican

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 12:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 12:40pm

Welshman Mark Williams battled through an epic last 16 encounter with Liam Highfield at the York Barbican on Thursday to set up a mouth-watering clash with old rival Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship.

Williams, a two-time former winner, fought back from 2-3 and 3-4 deficits against the world No 106 to pip the match 6-5.

The Welshman claimed an error-strewn decider to become the second player from Wales to make the last eight joining Jamie Jones who defeated David Gilbert 6-2 and will now face Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in the next round on Friday.

“I am just happy to get over the line,” said Williams after his epic win. “I was so nervous. I was twitching all over the place at the end and so was he.

“I am looking forward to playing him [Ronnie]. It will be a great occasion. He is the best player to ever pick a cue up.”

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu cruises into quarter-finals of UK Championship after 6-0 thumping of Oliver Lines

Elsewhere, four-time world champion John Higgings secured his place in the quarters with a 6-3 win over Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen. The Scot will play world number one Mark Selby on Friday.

Belgian Luca Brecel booked his place in the last eight with an impressive 6-3 win over 19th seed Stephen Maguire. He meets England’s Shaun Murphy on Friday with a place in the semi-finals at stake.