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Page last updated at 22:09 GMT, Saturday, 12 December 2009

John Higgins edges Ronnie O'Sullivan to make UK final

Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Dates: Sat 5 Dec to Sun 13 Dec Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

John Higgins

Video - Higgins reaches UK final (UK users only)

By Mark Ashenden

John Higgins survived a thrilling fightback from Ronnie O'Sullivan to win 9-8 and set up Sunday's UK Championship final clash with China's Ding Junhui.

Higgins edged the first two before a 116 from O'Sullivan, but the world champion soon led 5-1 after a fine 127.

The 'Rocket' trailed 6-2 after hitting another century, only to see Higgins win the night's first two with a 109.

O'Sullivan won six in a row, including a 134, to set up the gripping finale with Higgins grinding out the victory.

A very relieved Higgins told BBC Sport: "There is nothing more frightening than Ronnie coming back at you when he's in full flow.

"I was just sitting there and thinking if I get a chance take it. You can't take liberties with Ronnie.

"At 8-2 in front you might think that against anybody else."

Many will lament the exit of O'Sullivan, but the final should still be a thrilling spectacle between Higgins, eyeing his third UK crown, and Ding, 2005 champion.

O'Sullivan, winner of the Shanghai Masters in September, has been in patchy form at Telford, and this enthralling semi-final between these two heavyweights encapsulated the two sides of this fascinating competitor.