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March 1, 2021

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John Higgins survives thriller against Ben Woollaston at Welsh Open

3 min read

John Higgins pinched victory from the jaws of defeat (Picture: Getty Images)

John Higgins pulled off a dramatic late victory against Ben Woollaston in the second round of the Welsh Open, claiming a place in the third round despite needing a snooker in the deciding frame.

The Wizard of Wishaw conjured up a miraculous escape from a perilous position as Woollaston fluked the final yellow to leave the Scot needing a snooker in the seventh frame.

Most players would have been rattled beyond belief by the outrageous slice of luck for the Englishman, but Higgins barely changed his expression, then came back to the table to calmly go about his task.

The four-time world champion got the four penalty points he required and cleared the table to squeeze into the last 32 at Celtic Manor in sensational style.

It had looked set to be a pretty straight forward night for the Wizard as he took a 3-1 lead thanks to breaks of 101, 79 and 58, but Woollaston deserves credit for his own battling qualities.

The Leicester man made breaks of 70 and 62 to take the match to a decider and looked to have got over the line with an incredible fluke on the yellow as he missed a pot to middle and it slowly rolled into the bottom pocket.

The 45-year-old now takes on Ali Carter in the last 32 on Thursday, before the winner goes on to face either Mark Allen or Scott Donaldson later on the same day in the last 16 of the competition.

Also through to round three on Wednesday night were Martin Gould, David Gilbert and Zhou Yuelong, who all picked up 4-0 wins.

Gould despatched Jimmy Robertson, Gilbert saw off Jamie Wilson and Zhou beat Anthony Hamilton.

Mark Allen was less commanding in his 4-2 win over Nigel Bond, while Kyren Wilson also came through 4-2 against Alan McManus.



Welsh Open Last 32 Draw

10:00 Anthony McGill v Barry Hawkins
10:00 Martin O’Donnell v Pang Junxu
10:00 Matthew Selt v Stephen Maguire
10:00 Mark Selby v Joe O’Connor
10:00 Yan Bingtao v Xiao Guodong
10:00 Jordan Brown v Alexander Ursenbacher
10:00 Jak Jones v Mark King
10:00 Mark Williams v Joe Perry
13:00 Shaun Murphy v Ryan Day
13:00 Judd Trump v Hossein Vafaei
13:00 Ricky Walden v Jack Lisowski
13:00 Tom Ford v Kyren Wilson
13:00 Mark Allen v Scott Donaldson
13:00 Zhou Yuelong v David Gilbert
14:30 John Higgins v Ali Carter
14:30 Martin Gould v Ronnie O’Sullivan


MORE : John Higgins admits ‘painful’ Masters defeat is still raw


MORE : David Gilbert ‘feels like a different person’ after bouncing back from ‘f***ing miserable’ time

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