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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.

"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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