Anthony McGill sees off Liam Highfield at World Championship

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Anthony McGill secured his sixth second-round appearance at the World Championship after seeing off the dogged challenge of Liam Highfield.

Scotland’s McGill, a semi-finalist at the Crucible in 2020, was helped by a fluked red in the decisive frame to seal a 10-7 win against world number 43 Highfield at the end of a titanic first-round struggle.

Highfield, 31, from Stoke, trailed 6-3 overnight and won three of the first four frames on Monday to trail just 7-6 at the mid-session interval.

Glasgow’s McGill, who knocked Ronnie O’Sullivan out of last year’s competition and has reached the last eight on two other occasions, then took the next two to open up a 9-6 lead.

Highfield, who lost in the first round in his previous two visits to the Crucible, was ultimately undone by poor positional play but edged another attritional frame to trail 9-7.

World number 13 McGill had to call on all his big-stage experience and was helped by a huge stroke of luck to clinch the 17th frame when a missed long red ricocheted into the white whch knocked another red into the opposite corner pocket.

A break of 51 then saw the 31-year-old over the line and set up a second-round encounter with Judd Trump or Hossein Vafaei.

In the other morning match, Mark Allen made two century breaks on his way to a 5-4 lead against Scott Donaldson, who compiled four half-centuries of his own.

The winner of that match will meet Ronnie O’Sullivan in the second round.

In the afternoon session, Neil Robertson will launch his world title bid against Sheffield’s Ashley Hugill and three-time winner Mark Williams will resume 7-2 up against Michael White.

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