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Postby footygirl

NEIL ROBERSTON cvharged into a 15-9 lead over Allister Carter in his semi final match at the Crucible Theatre.

Robertson resumed 10-7 against his English opponant, and if he won seven frames out of the eight allocated to the session he would qualify for his first Crucible final with a session to spare. Allister, though needed a fast start if he was to stay in contention.

A scrappy first frame went the way of the Englishman, who reduced his arrears to 11-7, but this was only to goad Robertson into devastating form as he fired in breaks of 48 and 43 to re-establish his four frame advantage. Carter looking increasingly depressed contributing to his own downfall - noit least when he left a red over the corner pocket. Pouncing Neil, hammered in a 116 and followed with a 78 as he built a 13-7 lead.

It was looking desperatly grim for Carter, and with his confidence being aroded what he needed was an "easy" chance to stay in touch with Robertson, but it certainly was not going to come in frame 21 as Robertson blasted in a long red and and made 38 before winning a safety dual, and clearing up with 51 to lead 14-7.

To Carter's credit he continued to battle and at least halted the streak of four frames against him with a vital 41 before capturing the 23rd frame with a 55v after Robertson had let him in with a missed mid length red. So with one frame of the session still to be played Robertson was in the position of being four or six frames in front. And with both players fully aware of the significance a crashing climax ensued as Carter cancelled out Robertson's lead of 40 with a break of 50.With just ten points separating the two players one mistake could prove fatal.

And it was the most criel twist of the lot as Carter sank a long green only to agonisingly watch the cue ball come off two cushions and trundle up to the yellow pocket and drop into the pocket. With the balls on the spots Robertson had no trouble in clearing up to the pink - and let fly with a bellow of "Come on" as he shook hands with Allister and left the arena with a 15-9 lead in tow.

Suzy Jardine - The Crucible