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Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 23:03 UK

O'Sullivan sneaks into semi-final

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan was taken to a deciding frame by Barry Hawkins

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan held off a fightback from Barry Hawkins to secure a 5-4 win and a place in the Northern Ireland Trophy semi-finals.

The world number one opened with a break of 122 but was pegged back from 4-1 to 4-4 before taking the decider.

O'Sullivan now faces Ali Carter, who saw off home favourite Mark Allen 5-2.

Qualifier Dave Harold upset Stephen Maguire 5-2 and faces John Higgins in the other semi-final after the Scot defeated Ian McCulloch 5-3 to advance.

Former world number one Higgins took a 3-1 lead in his match but was pegged back to 3-3 before emerging victorious.

"I've got a great record against Stephen, that's three wins out of three," said Harold, a qualifier from Stoke, whose last ranking semi-final was five years ago.

"I've not played the top players for the last few years, but I've worked harder than I've ever worked during the summer.

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"I'm really looking forward to the next round, there's everything to play for. It's a semi-final next but it would be fantastic if I could get to a final."

Higgins' victory means he has reached his first ranking event semi-final since 2006, when he won the World Championship.

see also
Hendry humbled by Lee in Belfast
26 Aug 08 |  Snooker
White suffers first-round defeat
25 Aug 08 |  Snooker
Stevens out but Williams through
24 Aug 08 |  Snooker
NI Trophy set for Belfast return
21 May 08 |  Snooker


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