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Page last updated at 21:31 GMT, Saturday, 30 August 2008 22:31 UK

O'Sullivan and Harold reach final

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan has never won this event

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan reached the Northern Ireland Trophy final in Belfast with a thrilling 6-5 victory over Ali Carter.

"The Rocket" overcame the aggressive Carter despite trailing for much of the match, which was a repeat of the World Championship final earlier this year.

O'Sullivan will play fellow Englishman Dave Harold, who stunned two-time world champion John Higgins 6-4.

Harold last made a ranking final 15 years ago when he won the Asian Open.

"I was so glad to get over the line, I was desperate in the end," said Harold, who led 5-1 at one stage.

"I played so well to go 5-1 up, I was dictating the match. Then I missed a black (at 30-0) and the whole match swung. He started having the run of the balls, which I had been getting earlier.

I missed a couple in the first four frames and played a few bad positional shots, but Dave played brilliantly to go 5-1 up and deserved to win

John Higgins

"When he got me angled (on the last red at 68-33 in the 10th frame) I thought the gods were against me, but I managed to hit the red, which was a tough shot.

"I didn't feel any nerves early on but there's no doubt I did towards the end. I think I was entitled to do so after 14 years.

"I can relax now and enjoy the final. I've played him (O'Sullivan) at least 10 times and never beaten him, it's always been one of my ambitions to beat him so I could kill two birds with one stone."

Higgins, the world number five, was shocked by his defeat, but praised the way his opponent played.

"It's disappointing to lose at the semi-final stage, it would have been great to the start the season with a final," said the Scot.

"I missed a couple in the first four frames and played a few bad positional shots, but Dave played brilliantly to go 5-1 up and deserved to win."

O'Sullivan also hailed Harold's performance, saying: "Dave's done brilliantly to get to the final. He's had a hard draw."



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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