Ali Carter won the last four frames to beat Judd Trump in spectacular fashion 13-12 in front of a boisterous crowd in the Crucible.
Resuming at 9-7 up, Trump maintained his two frame cushion by the mid-session interval, almost serving up a maximum only to fall at the 13th red.
When he won the first frame after the break to extend his advantage to three frames it looked for all money that last year’s finalist was going to march into the last 8 despite not hitting his top form.
However, Carter had a failed attempt at a 147 of his own to keep the match alive and that seemed to instil renewed life into the Englishman.
Himself a former runner-up in Sheffield, the match then took another unexpected twist when Trump, already having benefited from a series of timely flukes throughout the entirety of the match, lashed at an attempted pot but still managed to fortunately sneak the cue-ball behind the yellow and brown.
Carter, clearly bemused, smiled and applauded sarcastically, frustration that appeared to galvanise his efforts and simultaneously damage his opponent’s.
Trump began to miss a number of routine pots by his own high standards and the experienced Carter jumped at the opportunity to force a decider.
After a prolonged safety exchange to initiate the final frame thriller, Trump had an opportunity to clinch the match but again fumbled on a relatively easy rest shot to land Carter in amongst the balls.
The two-time ranking event champion made no mistake in accumulating enough points to get to the snookers required stage and, although a despondent Trump fought gallantly to salvage the situation, Carter caused a major upset to seal his unlikely progression.
Undoubtedly, there appeared to be no love lost between the duo on the table but neither would elaborate much on the obvious tension in their respective press conferences.
Coming into the tournament as the overwhelming bookies favourite, Trump never really got going subsequent to his bout of food poisoning during his clash with Dominic Dale.
But more than that, it puts a stamp on what has really been a poor four months for the 22 year-old following his UK Championship triumph before Christmas.
Question marks over his B-game have once again been raised and, while it has been evident that the general run of the ball has been on his side in his short career so far, the growing consensus is that there is only so long that this will be able to last.
For the ‘Captain’, though, it continues a turnaround in his own fortunes as he builds on the momentum gained from a couple of rare wins in China last month.
This season has almost been a write off for the 32 year-old, low in confidence and struggling with his Crohn’s disease, but the prospect of another semi-final appearance in the City of Steel should inspire the qualified pilot.
Carter will meet Jamie Jones, the 24 year-old holding his composure well in the final session having let a four frame cushion slip to Andrew Higginson.
At ten frames each, the Welshman found the resilience that saw him over the line in his shock victory over Shaun Murphy in the last round and, helped with a superb 135 total clearance, claimed three successive frames to succeed 13-10 and reach his maiden ranking event quarter-final – good timing for such an achievement.
Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan wasted little time in overcoming Mark Williams to make it 16 wins in a row against the Welshman.
Williams believes that O’Sullivan is the man to beat this week but the ‘Rocket’ will have his work cut out with 2010 champion Neil Robertson his upcoming challenge.
Many believe that, with Trump now out, the winner between Robertson and O’Sullivan will go on and lift the trophy but there are six others that will have their say about that.
One of those is former Masters champion Matthew Stevens after the two-time Crucible runner-up kept Barry Hawkins at bay for a tough 13-11 victory.
It should have been easier for Stevens, who accumulated nearly 500 more points than Hawkins, but he always had enough in reserve to get across the winning post and was ultimately just given too many chances.
Stevens will play his countryman Ryan Day in an intriguing battle, meaning three players from Wales are still in with a shot at snooker’s holy grail.