Jones frustrates Wilson's quest to win World Snooker final

Fightback: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Wales;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Wales</a>' Jak Jones plays a shot in the World Snooker Championship final at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre (Oli SCARFF)
Fightback: Wales' Jak Jones plays a shot in the World Snooker Championship final at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre (Oli SCARFF)

Kyren Wilson's bid to win a first World Snooker Championship title ran into late resistance from qualifier Jak Jones in the closing stages of Monday's final at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.

At 17-11 ahead, England's 12th-ranked Wilson, beaten in the 2020 final by snooker great Ronnie O'Sullivan, was just one frame away from victory.

Jones, however, then won three frames in a row to cut Wilson's lead as the pressure appeared to take a toll on the 12th-ranked Englishman.

Jones, ranked 44 in the world, had been 7-1 down after the first session and was 11-6 down when play resumed Monday.

He is only the ninth qualifier in 47 years at the Crucible to reach the final, with Jones seeking to follow his fellow Welshman, Terry Griffiths, in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005 by going all the way to win the title.

Jones twice reduced his overnight deficit to three frames and that might still have been the gap had he not blown a chance to win the final frame of Monday's opening session after Wilson had missed a simple red when 52 point ahead.

But Jones, having played a fine shot to flick a difficult red off the cushion to put all the balls in play for a clearance, he missed a yellow to the middle.

Having come through two qualifying rounds, Jones -- in his first ranking final -- said he felt "knackered" at the end of Sunday's opening day.

Nevertheless, he made a fine start on Monday with breaks of 64 and 59 that cut Wilson's lead to 11-8.

But Wilson, having been below his best, managed breaks of 50 and 83 to restore his five-frame lead to 13-8 at the mid-session interval.

Jones responded with a break of 90, his highest of the final so far, before closing the gap still further with a contribution of 67.

Yet it was Jones's missed long red in the 25th frame that paved the way for a break of 87 from Wilson as he re-established a four-frame lead.

Jones then got in first in the final frame of the session only for his jawed yellow to help Wilson go five frames ahead.

When Jones went 17-11 up in the evening session with a fluked final black it seemed as if the match was all but over.

But Jones, throwing caution to the wind, won several frames in a row to set up a tense finish.