Shaun Murphy 13 - 3 Barry Hawkins

Shaun Murphy seems to have at least one foot in the final of this year's World Snooker Championship, after a thoroughly one-side second session in his semi-final today. An impressive haul of seven of the eight available frames has catapulted him into an almost impregnable 13-3 lead over the out of sorts Barry Hawkins. The 2005 champion now requires just another four frames to clinch a third final during his burgeoning career.

Murphy had dominated the first session against Hawkins yesterday, building up a 6-2 advantage in their first man to 17 frames' contest.

After a late finish to the Hawkins-Robertson quarter-final the night before, it was thought that the winner had perhaps lacked his usual sparkle at the start of the semi-final as a consequence. Nevertheless, the signs had been evident of Murphy's confidence and potting accuracy throughout the opening exchanges.

The match continued in much the same vein this morning. Murphy's potting skills were once more to the fore, but he was assisted by the continued inability of his opponent to find his top form. By contrast, the game's pacesetter was at his break-building best to notch another two centuries. That makes four for the semi-final so far, all of them going to the current Masters' champion.

Even when not reeling off a three figure break, Murphy took three further frames at a single visit with breaks over 70.

Hawkins could only manage a single frame in response, taking the 13th frame to temporarily stem the tide against him with a 79 break of his own. It didn't seem to disturb his rival though, as Murphy rattled in a 121 break in the next frame and then took the remaining two frames at a canter.

With the event sponsors Betfred donating £200 for every century at the championships to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, Murphy deserves generous applause from the charity as well. The Crucible crowd may not be able to relish the skills of "The Magician" for much longer though in the semi-finals. For that to happen, Hawkins will need to find inspiration from somewhere. That seems unlikely judging by today's action so far.