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Higgins shows grit as Allen gets set to tackle Rocket

 

By Charlie Bennett

John Higgins stormed from behind to knock fellow Scot Anthony McGill out of the Dafabet Masters last night and set up a last-eight tie with Ryan Day.

The two-time winner fell 4-2 down and looked out of sorts but pulled it together and won the last four frames to keep his dreams of a third title alive.

McGill looked set to cause an upset on his first visit to the Alexandra Palace, but eventually succumbed 6-4 after four hours.

With World No.1 Mark Selby, who beat Higgins in the World Championship final in May, already out, the draw has opened up. But the Wizard of Wishaw looked far from his brilliant best in the early stages, despite a classy break of 89 - while Glasgow's McGill held his own and came from 2-0 down to level at the mid-session interval.

Higgins, who has not been beyond the quarter-finals since 2012, edged 2-0 ahead.

But he wasted a golden chance to win the third frame and take firm control when he twice missed while in the balls.

McGill lost the 10-minute safety exchange but capitalised when Higgins missed again to win the 38-minute frame, and with that the match turned.

The 26-year-old appeared revitalised and, despite an early wobble, he drew level at the next mid-session interval with a fine break of 122.

With momentum with him, McGill grew in confidence, and won the next two frames after the interval to move 4-2 ahead.

But Higgins never hides from a battle and dug deep to win the seventh frame with a break of 67 before levelling in the next.

The four-time world champion was well set for a maximum break of 147 before missing on 81 but he did not let that deter him as he closed out the match two frames later.

Elsewhere, Shaun Murphy set up an intriguing quarter-final with Judd Trump after battling past Ali Carter 6-4.

The 2015 champion won the first four frames before Carter clawed it back to 5-4, but he had enough to reach the last eight.

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen, meanwhile, takes on Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals today.

Allen won his opener 6-3 against Luca Brecel, while the Rocket whitewashed Marco Fu 6-0.

Watch the Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neil Robertson

Belfast Telegraph

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