Friday, 20 January 2012


BGC Masters Day 5: JOHN Higgins came through a hard fought encounter with fellow Scot Graeme Dott 6-3 to book his place in the last four of the Masters. (Suzy Jardine - Ally Pally, London)

John Higgins
Higgins, the world champion looked as if he was off to a flyer when he fired in a 60 break in the first frame only to miss a simple red. He look to be getting the better of the safety exchange when he left Dott snookered on all four reds behind the black - but seconds later he was witness to Dott fluking a red off his escape which set the Larkhall professional on the road to snatching the first frame.

Higgins though is not easily unnerved and soon meted ou the same punishment to Dott, albeit minus the fluke as Dott's miss on the black when on 47 gave the world champion a chance to counter, which he took to level at 1-1.

Higgins was first in with 52 in frame three - and should have made more but rattled a black in the jaws. The ensuing safety battle saw Dott tuck Higgins up behind the brown, as John failed on his initial escape. And it was here that referee Jan Verhaas made a mistake. 

Both players had to wait while Verhaas had the scoreboard checked, and Dott at the table on a run of 13 missed his next stroke on a red. The frame though had to be won and it was Higgins who clinched it to lead 2-1.

Graeme Dott
Every point was being fought for and Dott was providing stern resistance against the world champion and levelled at 2-2 at the mid session interval.

Returning Dott had the first chance in frame five but an overcut black sent him back to his seat. Higgins replied with 25. But with Dott's safety leaving John in trouble he could only see one red. Taking aim he sunk it and cleared with 75 to lead 3-2. He accounted too for frame 6 with a 64 and now had the luxury of a two frame buffer.

Boosted by this Higgins drilled in a long red from the baulkline and hammered in a 109 to move three frames clear. Dott was staring defeat in the face. He now needed evrything if he was to snatch victory from the world champion.

He was to pull one back as tight eighth frame was settled on the colours as Graeme cleared from yellow to pink to reduce his arrears to 3-5 but Higgins was not to be denied as he rolled in an 89 break to seal a 6-3 victory and set up a semi final showdown with Shaun Murphy or Mark Selby.


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