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Jones The Potter Marches On

By Graham Thomas

Jak Jones faces a huge task before his first World Snooker Championship semi-final appearance – persuading his mother to watch.

The Welsh potter – the world No 44 – earned the biggest win of his career when he turned an 8-8 overnight score against Judd Trump into a 13-9 victory on Wednesday to reach the last four for the first time.

Jones, from Cwmbran, is now two victories away from becoming only the third qualifier to win the title after Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005.

In fact, DragonBet now make Jones 11/2 to win the tournament and you can get him at 6/4 to overcome Stuart Bingham in their semi-final.

But the 30-year-old Jones has yet to convince his mum, Debbie, to watch him play live for the first time.

Despite ferrying her son to matches since he first turned professional at the age of 16, she is yet to watch him play either live or on TV, and Jones does not believe the unique occasion of a Crucible semi-final will change her mind.

“She won’t even watch me on the TV,” said Jones.

“At home now when I’m playing she’ll be doing the ironing or cleaning the house. She doesn’t like watching me, she pretends it’s not happening and waits for my dad to call her with the result. 

“A Crucible semi-final is obviously a different matter and maybe she will come up, but she won’t come into the arena.”

World number two Trump offered no excuses after being lured into a war of attrition by his opponent.

“I felt like I had a lot of chances and I didn’t take them,” said Trump. “I had more than enough chances today to win, so I only have myself to blame. A lot of the frames were quite slow and I got bogged down.”

Jones defended his pace of play and said he detected early in the game that Trump was out of sorts.

“I thought Judd struggled quite a bit,” said Jones. “He wasn’t the fast-flowing aggressive player that he usually is. I noticed it from the beginning and it kind of surprised me, and I took advantage.”

Jones will now face Stuart Bingham in the semi-final after Bingham [produced an even bigger shock than Jones by knocking out Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Bingham was in sensational form, reviving memories of his world title in 2015. He has since lost his place in the world’s top 16, and came into the tournament ranked at No 29, but he pulled away from an increasingly agitated O’Sullivan, reeling off the final three frames to seal a nerve-jangling 13-10 win.

Coupled with David Gilbert’s 13-8 win over Stephen Maguire, it means three qualifiers have reached the semi-finals for the first time since the first year the tournament was staged at the Crucible in 1977. Gilbert will face Kyren Wilson after the latter – the world No 12 – secured a 13-8 victory over John Higgins.

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