And it is semi finals day here at Telford and the line up features an Englishman, a Scotsman…. yeah I am sure you can fill in the blanks with that one.
Yours truly is busy from the kick off as she interviews Paul Mount (thanks Janie) and then sees that Janie very quietly took a photo of me as well – Not my best profile I regret to say.
Mosconi Cup is also under way and current score is 2-2 between Europe and the United States at the York Hall, Bethnall Green. Come on Europe, win it again! Higgins and Allen are serving up some quality snooker in the semi finals as the Scotsman looks for a place in the final of the UK championship for the fourth time in his career, while Allen has already turned in his best performance in the UK in his career by reaching the semi finals.
Strictly Friday and a friend is delegated to keep an eye on it for me and report back. The things I do for people lol.
So Higgins now looking good for a place in the final and would meet either Shaun Murphy or Mark Williams. That match for your delight and delectation tomorrow.
JOHN Higgins booked his place in the final of the UK Championship with a 9-5 victory over Mark Allen.
In a match of the highest quality Higgins enjoyed a fast start as he rattled in a break of 96 to account for the first frame. Allen, met the challenge head on with a 130 to level at 1-1. Never more than one frame in it in the early stages it was Higgins who was to move 2-1, though he could have done so with a maximum plus break. After forcing a free ball, which he took with the brown Higgins proceeded to 64 before breaking down when running out of position. Six reds were left on the table but Allen was unable to counter and the Scotsman was in front.
But that lead was not to last for long as Allen rolled in a 79 to level at 2-2 at the mid session interval. Allen too should have taken the fifth frame. But breaking down on 53 gave Higgins a chance to counter. The Scotsman was poised to strike a psychological blow but missed the green off its spot when clearing up. Allen could scarcely believe it – the chance to put the frame beyond doubt was now his. Taking green, brown and blue all he required was the pink, only to miss it. He was also to come off second best in the brief safety duel which followed and eventually left the pink just off the side cushion close to the “yellow” pocket, with the cue ball in the jaws of the top corner. It was a thin cut, but Higgins grabbed his chance and clipped the pink in, and swung the cue ball round the table to land just behind the black, which was then a formality.
If anyone thought that losing the frame in such a way would affect Allen adversely they had seriously underesteimated the Antrim man as he responded with a 72 to level the match at 3-3 without any reply from Higgins. Encouraged by this Allen dominated the seventh which was settled with a run of 44 before Higgins brought a scintillating session of snooker to a conclusion with breaks of 40 and 47 to level the match at 4-4 at the end of the opening session.
Resuming it was Allen who threatened to take a stranglehold on the opening stages as he seemed set to move 5-4 in front. But here was to be a critical error as he missed a black off the spot when attempting to screw back to stay in prime position. End of break on 46 and allowed Higgins an easy starter. Despite a brief moment of heart failure for the Scot when a black wobbled in the jaws he was always in control in compiling a frame winning clearance of 59. Allen had plenty of time to sit and dwell on that missed black as Higgins, without making any sizeable breaks put together enough points to move 6-4 in front.
Mark knew that to retain a realistic hope of winning he had to take the third frame of the night. For a while it looked as if he would be doomed to disappointment on that as Higgins pounced upon a missed red to the corner and made 34 before being forced to scamper to safety. And it was to be Allen who forced a mistake from Higgins as he countered with 52. Yet one red remained, and the frame was decided when Higgins failed to escape a snooker and left Allen with the balls at his mercy as the Antrim man closed to 5-6.
But if Mark does have a weakness in his game it is the tendancy to maybe go for overly ambitious shots. And a long missed red to the corner was to be his undoing as he left Higgins with a clip to the corner. There was to be no mistake from the Scotsman who sunk it and then put together a decisive break of 68 to lead 7-5 at the mid session interval.
But it was to be only a temporary reprieve for the world number 12 as Higgins moved to within one frame of victory with a 100 to go 8-5 in front and completed a 9-5 victory a short time later with a match winning break of 73 to move withing one match of reclaiming the world number one slot if he prevails in the final against one of Shaun Murphy or Mark Williams.