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Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

John Higgins beats Stephen Maguire at UK Championship

UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Date: 4-12 December
Coverage: Live action and highlights on BBC Two and BBC Red Button; updates and reports on BBC Radio 5 live and live coverage on this website.
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John Higgins

Higgins reaches UK Championship semis

John Higgins recovered from a faltering opening session to beat Stephen Maguire 9-7 and reach the UK Championship semi-finals, where he will play Mark Allen.

Coming into the evening, Higgins led 5-3 but Maguire won the first frame of the session with a 137 break, following it up with the next two frames.

Higgins made breaks of 82, 83 and 70 as he won three in a row to move within a frame of victory.

A 106 break by Maguire made it 8-7 but Higgins was not to be denied his win.

The way Maguire took the upper hand in the evening session, only to then lose the initiative, was the reverse of what happened in the afternoon.

606: DEBATE

Three-time world champion Higgins was first on the board with a break of 74, but his errors allowed Maguire to win the next frame with a break of 76 and follow it up with the third for a 2-1 lead.

Higgins wobbled on his way to winning the fourth frame and made the most of Maguire's poor form to clinch the next.

Maguire made hard work of winning the sixth with a break of 53, but Higgins replied with runs of 97 and 94 in the next two frames to hold a 5-3 lead at the interval.

Higgins's semi-final opponent will be Northern Irishman Allen, after he saw off Ronnie O'Sullivan's first-round conqueror Stuart Bingham, also by a score of 9-7.

Stuart Bingham reacts after heading towards the wrong table

Bemused Bingham in table mix-up

After six frames the score was 3-3, with both players having registered century breaks - 114 to Allen in the first frame, and 106 for Bingham in the sixth.

But World Championship semi-finalist Allen ensured he went into the interval with the upper hand as he produced breaks of 67 and 46 to go 5-3 up.

Like the Higgins match, the player trailing at the break won three of the first four frames after the restart to pull the scores level at 6-6, with Bingham matching the tournament's highest break so far when he hit a 142.

Every time Allen nudged ahead Bingham reeled him in, with his next break of 80 showing he was determined to push his opponent all the way.

But a scrappy frame won on the brown and blue gave Allen an 8-7 lead, and when Bingham missed a simple red in the next frame, the World Championship semi-finalist won it and sealed his place in the last four in two visits to the table.

Thursday's two quarter-finals see reigning world champion Neil Robertson face England's Shaun Murphy, and another former world champion - Mark Williams - against England's Mark Joyce.



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see also
Allen optimistic for Higgins semi
10 Dec 10 |  Snooker
UK Championship - latest scores
10 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Williams beats struggling Hendry
07 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Hendry reveals 'yips' frustration
08 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Scrappy Higgins edges past Dott
07 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Hendry beats White in nervy epic
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan dumped out by Bingham
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins wins on British comeback
05 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins happy to take second chance
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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