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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 October, 2003, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Williams wins thrilling final
Mark Williams
World champion Mark Williams swept past battling John Higgins 9-5 to triumph in the LG Cup final on Sunday.

The Welshman became the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1990 to hold all four major titles - the UK, World, Masters and LG Cup - at once.

"I didn't miss many shots," said Williams. "I try to give 100% in every tournament and it's fantastic to win."

There was some consolation for Higgins who earned himself 25,000 after rattling off a superb maximum break.

Williams added after lifting the trophy: "I played some excellent shots.

"It was a big turnaround in form for me and it came at the right time."

The "Welsh Wizard" had shown some erratic form at the table during the early rounds at Preston's Guild Hall but he was back to his best when it counted.

The crowd were treated to some aggressive snooker as Williams smoothly notched up breaks of 74, 83 and 65 to race into a 3-0 lead.

Higgins composed himself after a series of mis-hits, making a break of 142 in the fourth frame at 3-1.

It was just one of those things - it's a cliche but it only wins you one frame
John Higgins on his 147
Williams also conceded the fifth after the black wobbled stubbornly over the right-hand corner pocket but he made no mistake in the next as he swept effortlessly to a 127-break.

Both players were guilty of lapses in concentration in the final frame before the halfway point with Williams the first to miss an easy pot with 40 points on the board.

But Higgins failed to take advantage, carelessly over-hitting the blue which rattled out of the pocket, and Williams kept his cool to snatch a 5-3 lead at the break.

In the evening session, the world number one took a scrappy opening frame 53-39 after a series of shocking misses from both players.

The momemtum appeared to have swung in Higgins' favour as he struck back with breaks of 91 and a glorious 147 to close the gap.

The Scot's maximum was thanks to a fluke on the 12th black - he missed his initial shot but the ball bounced across the table, hit the cushion and rolled back to drop in the same pocket.

Higgins composed himself - despite playing on with a large lipstick mark from his wife on his lips - but it was Williams who coolly wrapped up the next frame to take a 7-5 lead.

The Cardiff-based cueman sank some crucial long-range pots to clinch the next two frames, winning the first ranking event of the season.




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Mark Williams
"I played excellently"




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