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Page last updated at 21:20 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010

John Higgins eases past Mark Allen to reach UK final

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; watch again on iPlayer; Full details of BBC coverage

John Higgins seals semi-final victory over Mark Allen

Higgins seals semi-final win over Allen

John Higgins produced a superb second session of snooker to book his place in the UK Championship final with a 9-5 win over Northern Ireland's Mark Allen.

The players went into the final session tied at 4-4 before two-time winner Higgins took the first two frames, the opener with a break of 59.

Allen reduced the deficit by edging a tight 11th frame but Higgins hit back with a 68 to regain a two-frame lead.

The Scot then hit 100 in the 13th frame before closing out the match with a 73.

Although Higgins dominated the latter stages of the match, the earlier session had thrilled the Telford crowd with both players in fine form.

606: DEBATE
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Higgins, in his first tournament in Britain since a six-month ban for bringing the game into disrepute, took advantage of an Allen miss to open with a break of 96 before the 24-year-old hit back with a break of 130 to level.

The lead then ebbed and flowed, with Allen winning the seventh frame to open up a 4-3 lead before Higgins won the final frame of the first session with breaks of 40 and 47 to level. From there, the 35-year-old was not to look back during a superb evening performance.

We are a little bit fatter, a little bit older, we've got more lines on our faces and less hair

John Higgins

"I am feeling good about my game and it's great to be back," the Scot said.

"I suppose it is a fairytale when you think about it, winning the first PTC event back [n Hamm, Germany, last month] and then my performance in this championship."

Higgins, who will be back to world number one if he wins the title, said the other semi-final between Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy was too close to call.

"Mark and I played each other in the final 10 years ago [when Higgins won 10-4]," he added.

"We are a little bit fatter, a little bit older, we've got more lines on our faces and less hair.

"But I think we're still up there. Mark is one of the best players ever to pick up a cue.

"Shaun is one of the new breed coming through. He fancies potting everything, so that will be an interesting match."

However, Allen believes that Higgins will emerge victorious regardless of who he meets in the final.

"John showed how good he is at closing out matches and that's something I have to learn," the 24-year-old said.

"I can't see anyone beating John in the final."



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see also
UK Championship - latest scores
10 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Murphy to face Williams in semi
09 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins wins to reach last four
08 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Williams beats struggling Hendry
07 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Scrappy Higgins edges past Dott
07 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Hendry beats White in nervy epic
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins wins on British comeback
05 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins wins comeback tournament
14 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Higgins happy to take second chance
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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