Stephen Hendry ground his way into a 5-3 lead after a desperately low-quality first session to his UK Championship second-round clash with Mark Williams.
The Scot had needed all his fighting spirit to overhaul old rival Jimmy White in round one as the game which made him a seven-time world champion deserted him.
And the pattern continued, although two half-centuries and two more breaks in the 40s provided glimpses of Hendry's best form.
Williams managed to share the first six frames equally despite not making a break higher than 24, and Hendry's 28 was the highest contribution in a scrappy seventh frame which saw him retake the lead.
The Scot then extended his advantage as a 44 set him on his way to victory in frame eight before both players left the arena grinning.
Stuart Bingham carried on where he left off in his win over Ronnie O'Sullivan by surging into a 6-2 lead over Marco Fu.
The world number 23, surprisingly, has yet to make a century break in the tournament but runs of 40 and 50 in frame one and 76 in frame three helped him to a 3-1 lead at the interval.
The pattern was repeated when the players returned, Fu narrowing the gap with a 70 before a 56 and a closing 90 saw Bingham reassert his dominance.
Shaun Murphy racked up two century breaks as he took a narrow lead against Ryan Day.
The world number four hit the ground running with a run of exactly 100 in the opening frame but the four frames before the interval were shared, Day sealing frame four with a 70.
Murphy edged back in front after a scrappy fifth frame and a 131, the highlight of the session, saw him open up a two-frame lead for the first time. Day cut the deficit but Murphy wrapped up proceedings with a 78 to take a 5-3 advantage into tonight's session.
Mark Joyce leads Judd Trump by the same scoreline after continuing his impressive form with breaks of 62, 87, 100 and 79.
The Bristol youngster took two of the first three frames but Joyce, the conqueror of world number three Ali Carter in round one, led 5-2 until Trump took the closing frame on the back of a break of 64, his second half-century of the match.