ALI CARTER pulled off a stunning fightback against the odds to earn a memorable win against Judd Trump and a place in the quarter-finals.
In undoubtedly the most exciting game of this year’s World Championship so far, Carter’s hopes of reaching the last eight appeared to be as good as over when Trump took a 12-9 lead after the mid-session interval.
But Carter, nicknamed The Captain, showed his true grit and won the final four frames to win an absolute thriller 13-12.
Trump, who was named the pre-tournament favourite by bookmakers, made a great start to the afternoon session winning the first frame to extend his lead to 10-7 after earning a two-frame advantage on Sunday.
Carter responded well and a break of 70 saw the 2008 runner-up pull his deficit back to two frames.
The next frame saw plenty of drama as Trump sank twelve reds and twelve blacks to give him a shout of a maximum break. But the Bristol potting machine failed to get decent position for the 13th red. However, the break of 96, saw him go 11-8 up. Once again Carter responded with a break of 94 to make it 11-9 at the mid-session interval.
But Trump looked certain to reach his second Crucible quarter-final in consecutive years when he won the 21st frame to go 12-9 up and just one frame away from victory.
But Carter came fighting back with a break of 81 which started a remarkable comeback . He then took the next two frames to force the match into a decider.
In a dramatic final frame, which lasted more than 45 minutes, Trump appeared to have the run of the ball by luckily blocking the path to pot a red into the corner which had the potential to start a frame winning clearance.
But last year’s runner-up missed a golden opportunity when he failed to put an easy-looking red with the extended rest. Carter under immense pressure made a break of 47 to go 48 ahead with just one red left on the table as he looked to have done enough for an incredible win.
The excitement did not end there. Needing four snookers Trump managed to get three of them to put him back in with a fighting chance. But Trump looking for that fourth snooker left the red on. Carter cut it into the middle pocket to go through.
“I knew I was hitting the ball well, at 12-9 I thought just get to 12-10 and he knows I’m there,” a delighted Carter said during his post-match press conference.
“I played some solid match snooker at 12-11 and that’s all it takes. Judd just pots them from everywhere but there’s more to this game than just potting them from everywhere believe me, and I’ve proved that today.
“It’s easy for me to say now because I’ve come out the winner but I’m just delighted with myself because I’ve been on too many wrong ends of matches like that.”
Carter will meet Jamie Jones in the quarter-finals after the Welshman beat Andrew Higginson 13-10.
Jones, who led 10-6 overnight, was a worried man after Higginson won the first four frames of the final session to level at 10-10. But all credit must go to Jones who did not let the situation get to him and won the next three frames to seal the biggest win of his career.
There was even more joy today for Welsh Snooker after Matthew Stevens set up an all Wales quarter-final with Ryan Day.
Stevens beat Barry Hawkins 13-11 to make the last eight and is now two wins away from reaching his third World Championship final.
Ronnie O’Sullivan remains on track for a fourth world title after he beat Mark Williams 13-6. The Rocket won two frames tonight after a sensational performance on Sunday saw him gain a massive 11-5 lead overnight.
O’Sullivan, who is now been made favourite to win the world crown, will play a mouth-watering tie against Australian Neil Robertson in the last eight.