UK Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Martin O'Donnell 6-1

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at the York Barbican

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan stayed on course for a record seventh UK Championship title by beating Martin O'Donnell 6-1 to reach the semi-finals.

O'Sullivan is also two victories away from a record 19 tournament wins in BBC 'Triple Crown' events - the World and UK Championships, and Masters.

He started with a century as the first two frames were shared, then made breaks of 79 and 81, and a further ton.

Tom Ford awaits O'Sullivan in the last four after he defeated Joe Perry 6-2.

Leicester's Ford surged into a 4-0 lead with breaks of 76 and 80, and although Perry rallied briefly, he took the two frames he needed for victory.

Former world champion Stuart Bingham hammered Kyren Wilson 6-1 to reach the semi-finals, where he faces Mark Allen.

Masters champion Allen made his 400th career century on the way to a comfortable 6-1 victory over the 2004 winner Maguire

"I don't think I played that well. I started well and got a 3-0 lead and you have to play poorly from there to lose. The conditions were not great, the table was playing very heavy," said the Northern Irishman.

Bingham had potted 15 reds and 15 blacks on the way to a maximum 147 break in the third frame, but missed the yellow with the cueball close to the side cushion.

"I played pretty well. Kyren had an off day, he made his mistakes and I capitalised on them. I had never beaten him before and the way he has played this season, it as a bit of a shock," he said.

Speaking about the missed 147, he said: "The adrenaline pumped in on the last black and I thought the yellow was in too. It would have been nice to make it for the fans."

But he made further breaks of 53, 84, 61 and 50 to progress to last four for the third time.

Irritated O'Sullivan advances

O'Sullivan's path to Sunday's final opened up after the shock exits of world number five Judd Trump and China's number one Ding Junhui.

Though he was irritated by photographers moving and spectators walking in and out of the arena - speaking to the referee on a number of occasions - he managed to maintain his composure against O'Donnell.

A 102 looked to have set the tone against the world number 52, who beat Ding in the previous round, and although he was pegged back to 1-1, O'Sullivan took five frames in a row to advance to his 11th UK semi-final.

"That was a tough game for me and he is a player you want to do well because he puts the work in and I'm sure he will be a top-16 player very soon," O'Sullivan told BBC Two.

"I had never played Martin before and you never know what to expect in that situation. I didn't know his scoring record, or his potting, so I just eased my way into it, but it was a good match because I had to be patient."


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