Gilbert beats struggling Milkins to reach quarters

David Gilbert moved into the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship as he secured a 13-4 win over struggling 16th seed Robert Milkins, who threw his cue to the ground at one point.

Milkins missed a red when 7-4 down and showed his frustrations by chucking his cue down.

Gilbert ended the second session with a 12-4 advantage, before quickly getting the one frame he needed at the start of Friday's evening session.

After the match, Milkins revealed he had been struggling with a back injury that hampered his performance.

"I woke up in agony at 6am and I've really done something to my back," said Milkins. "I get it once or twice a year and normally I take some ibuprofen tablets and it has gone in a few hours, but not today.

"When I tried to put my chin on the cue it just ached really bad. It was the upper back, right at the bottom of my neck and always in the same place at the same time.

"As soon as I got here I took four tablets in the space of two hours but it didn't work and I just couldn't get down on any shot."

On the cue-throwing incident, 48-year-old Milkins added: "It's the frustration of not being able to have a good crack at it, it wasn't because I was playing badly. I shouldn't have done it, it's just that spur of the moment thing."

Robert Milkins with his hand over his eyes
Robert Milkins has now lost in the last 16 on five occasions and never reached the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship [Getty Images]

Dominant Trump closes in on quarter-final spot; Maguire leads Murphy

World number two Judd Trump leads 11-5 against Tom Ford and is only two frames away from making the last eight for the 10th time in his career.

Trump, 34, held a 6-2 advantage and won three of the first four frames as it looked like he might win with a session to spare.

Two players - Kyren Wilson and Mark Selby - made maximum 147 breaks at the 2023 event and Ford was on course to do the same in 2024 as he potted 10 reds and nine blacks before his break broke down at 73.

Breaks of 59 and 50 helped Trump win another two frames, but Ford did enough to take the match into Saturday's morning session before winning the last frame with a break of 83.

BBC pundit Ken Doherty, the 1997 world champion, said: "Pride does come into it and Tom showed a lot of character with that wonderful break in the last frame.

"It gives him a sliver of hope for tomorrow and matches have been turned around from 11-5 before.

"Neil Robertson did it against Martin Gould - but it's a different animal against Judd Trump, of course."

Scotland's Stephen Maguire, a two-time semi-finalist, leads 5-3 against England's 2005 champion Shaun Murphy with the next session on Saturday morning.

Maguire made breaks of 50, 68 and 72, while Murphy's best efforts were 56 and 57.

Judd Trump and Tom Ford
Judd Trump is second in the world rankings with Ford 14th [PA Media]

'I couldn't care about the money, I just want to be a winner'

Gilbert, 31st in the world, reached the semi-finals in 2019 but lost 17-16 to John Higgins and has embarked on a disciplined health regime to give himself the best chance of success in 2024.

"Fitness wise I feel so much better and the lesson I learned from the semi-final was you have to be as fit as possible," said the 42-year-old Englishman.

"I'm using my time wisely, eating properly, I'm hitting the gym, pure weights and trying to lift as heavy as I can. I'm going to smash the gym and keep eating the right stuff.

"I couldn't care less about the money, you can take that half a million [winner's prize money]. If I won that thing [the trophy] that's my life here. I never think of money, never played for money, I just want to be a winner."

Gilbert had to battle through two rounds of qualifying to get to the Crucible and has now eliminated two seeds in two rounds after he beat 2023 champion Luca Brecel in the first round on the opening day.

He added: "I'm feeling good, building confidence every game and I put in a proper session and it's nice to know I can still play a little bit - I've been playing shockingly recently. If you're going to time it right you might as well do it for this one."

Gilbert held a 6-3 lead after the first session, although Milkins won the opening frame on Friday.

But the damage was done as Gilbert then raced clear with six in a row, including breaks of 67, 84, 136 and 123, in the afternoon session before completing the job inside 18 minutes in the evening session.

Jones makes fine start against 2023 semi-finalist Si

Jak Jones playing a shot
Jak Jones beat Ali Carter and Neil Robertson to reach the quarter-finals in the 2023 World Championship [PA Media]

Wales' Jak Jones, the lowest-ranked player left in the tournament at 44th in the world, enjoyed a fine opening session to lead 6-2 against 2023 semi-finalist Si Jiahui of China.

Si made breaks of 50 and 64 in the opening two frames, only to lose both frames on the black, although Si made it 2-2 with breaks of 62 and 84.

However, Jones - himself a quarter-finalist last year - won the last four frames of the session, aided by breaks of 66 and 71 to gain a four-frame advantage.

Both players won two of the first four frames in the evening session to leave it at 8-3 to the Welshman.