Snooker - Magical O'Sullivan sets new points record in supreme show

Ronnie O'Sullivan produced arguably the greatest snooker exhibition of all time to complete a 6-0 win over a helpless Ricky Walden in the Masters quarter-finals at London's Alexandra Palace.

O'Sullivan set a new points record in the professional era of 556 points without reply, beating the 495 compiled by China's former Masters champion Ding Junhui in a 6-0 drubbing of Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.

This match lasted a paltry 57 minutes and 48 seconds as O'Sullivan went to work like the true snooker artist he is.

He was more or less unplayable such was the level of intensity and concentration with which O'Sullivan devoured the balls.

Walden could only watch as the world champion snared the first four frames in less than 50 minutes before a

1500 sell-out crowd which included O'Sullivan's close friend and fellow fans’ favourite Jimmy White.

O'Sullivan opened with a 79 before further rapid and absorbing breaks of 88, 72 and 134 helped him move 4-0 clear.

Walden did little or nothing wrong to merit such treatment, but he quickly came to appreciate this was several levels higher than a 6-5 win over Barry Hawkins in the first round. It was out of his league, and in snooker parlance, truly out of this world.

O'Sullivan ran in 387 points without reply after the first four frames before emerging from his tea break to make 77 in the fifth frame as Walden was forced to sit and watch some more.

A 56 and 39 ended Walden's suffering. Not that he was looking too peaky having spent the hour sat on his chair. His 39 points to move 39-1 clear in the first frame was his only scoring contribution to the match.

Quite simply, nobody has played snooker - and arguably any sport - at a higher level than O'Sullivan in this sort of mood.