Mark Allen produced a strong a start to his quarter-final with 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott but was pegged back before taking the final frame of the session for a 5-3 lead at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.
Allen who had a memorable run to last year's semi-finals including a stunning second round victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan began impressively, restricting Dott to a single point in the opening two frames as he rattled in a break of 66 to clinch the opener and followed that with runs of 38 and 37 to move 2-0 ahead.
Allen opened the third frame with a 58 before running out of position but Dott couldn't take full advantage and the Antrim potter returned to claim the frame. A 54 in the fourth enabled the 24-year-old to head to the mid-session interval with a 4-0 lead.
Dott who had an impressive win over fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the previous round rallied after the break, a run of 76 showed his form is returning at the crucial stage of the tournament. The next two frames were scrappy but Dott pinched them both the first when he dished to the colours and the seventh on the brown.
The eighth frame crucially went to Allen, he got in after Dott had fouled and he made a century, his fifth of the tournament to give him a 5-3 lead. They will resume at 7pm for the second session tonight (Tuesday).