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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 22:45 GMT
White through to final
Jimmy White
Jimmy White last booked a place in a final over three years ago
Jimmy White roared into his first major final in four years with a thrilling 6-4 victory over local hero Tony Drago at the European Open in Malta.

White built a 5-1 lead before Drago, the Maltese number one, fired back into contention to trail only 5-4.

But the 41-year-old held out to clinch the 10th with a break of 86 to secure a place in his first final since the British Open in 2000.

White now faces Stephen Maguire, who defeated Stephen Lee 6-4 to progress.

"I'm just delighted to have won," White said.

"Playing Tony here, I got a taste of what players have against me at the Masters when the crowd are all on my side but they were fair and I enjoyed every minute of it.

"At 5-1 up I just played a couple of slack shots and he got stronger and stronger, but I made a good break at the end to finish it."

Maguire, who had already beaten Peter Ebdon and John Higgins on his way to the last four, began brightly by taking a 2-0 lead.

World number eight Lee, conqueror of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals, hit back to go 3-2 in front.

But Maguire kept his cool to seal his place in the final.

"What a battle. I was starting to get embarrassed at the end but out there it was pressure like I've never known before," admitted Maguire.

"I've been very surprised how badly everybody has played against me here, especially Stephen but I'll take it. "

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