World Snooker Championship 2018: John Higgins and Barry Hawkins enjoy first-session semis leads

Mark Williams
Mark Williams trailed 5-2 against Barry Hawkins but won the final frame of the first session to reduce arrears
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April - 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Two-time winner Mark Williams trails former finalist Barry Hawkins 5-3 after the first session in the World Championship semi-finals.

Hawkins made a blistering start with a 129 break in the opening frame and a 74 run helped him to a 3-1 advantage.

The duo traded the next four frames, including Hawkins's 90 to seal an overnight lead and a ton by Williams.

In the other semi-final, four-time champion John Higgins edged 5-3 ahead of Kyren Wilson.

Scot Higgins came through a nail-biting final-frame decider against Judd Trump late on Wednesday night and was last year's beaten finalist against Mark Selby.

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How did he do that?! Wilson's 'incredible' missed escape shot

Playing in his ninth semi-final at the Crucible, he showed his experience by finding his rhythm and holding a 4-1 lead.

But Englishman Wilson, a first-timer on the one-table set-up, pulled himself together after the mid-session interval with a century but a missed red on a break of 44 proved costly as Higgins dished out a clearance in the final frame of the session. They resume on Friday at 10:00 BST.

Meanwhile, Welshman Williams progressed to the last-four by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan's conqueror Ali Carter, while England's Hawkins made light work of China's Ding Junhui.

Williams, 43, is aiming to win his first world crown since 2003 and although not at his fluent best, breaks of 88 and 110 kept him in touch. They continue on Friday at 14:30 BST.

John Higgins plays a shot
John Higgins is aiming to win his fifth world title 20 years after his first in 1998
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