Snooker : Hunter never in hunt

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Mark Williams eased into the second round of the Benson and Hedges Masters at Wembley with a 5-1 victory over Paul Hunter yesterday. Williams was below his top form but still far too good for his opponent, who received a wild-card invitation from the sponsors.

Hunter failed to show why he is widely regarded as the sport's leading teenager. The 18-year-old from Leeds had his only success with a break of 79 in the third frame and later admitted to being overawed by the venue. Hunter's cause, however, was not helped when an outrageous fluked blue ensured a 2-0 lead for Williams.

Hunter reduced his deficit to 3-2 in the fifth frame, but having compiled a 60 break, he missed a simple black and Williams took the frame with an excellent 46 clearance to go 4-1 ahead. That proved the final blow for Hunter, as Williams, now the provisional world No 3 after reaching the semi-finals of the Regal Welsh Open, comfortably won the sixth frame to complete victory.