Ronnie O'Sullivan holds 10-6 lead over John Higgins after 'monster' clearance

April 29, 2022
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Dan Gibbs ✍️  

Ronnie O'Sullivan
It’s advantage Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals (Picture: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a snooker masterclass to lead 10-6 over John Higgins ahead of tomorrow’s final two semi-final sessions at the World Snooker Championships.

Both players were locked at 6-6 at the mid-session interval but the six-time world champion rattled off five frames in a row to move to being seven away from the final.

A thrilling afternoon session also saw the Rocket pull off an outrageous long red in the final frame on his way to an impressive ‘monster’ clearance as described by snooker legend Steve Davis.

O’Sullivan drew first blood in the afternoon session to lead for the first time in the match at 5-4 but needed some good fortune as Higgins had horrible luck; his split off the brown looked perfect until a red somehow squeezed into the pocket.

The following frame saw Higgins continue his bad luck, this time potting the black but the cue ball clipping the green and dropping into the left middle, but after a safety battle on the final red he eventually prevailed to level the scores.

O’Sullivan would then not pot a ball for over half an hour as Higgins made a break of 53 on his way to reclaiming the lead before the Rocket levelled, missing the last red when on 99 to fall just short of a century.

A break of 91 after the mid-session interval put O’Sullivan 7-6 up, while the 14th frame came down to the last three balls on the table – O’Sullivan missed a tricky blue but a few shots later potted to move to a two-frame lead.

O’Sullivan looked on course on to secure a third century in the penultimate frame of the day but missed the black at 70-6 and Higgins conceded as he fell further behind.

A stunning finish to the final frame which Higgins should have won saw O’Sullivan pull off a impressive clearance and win on a re-spotted black.

Reacting to the final frame efforts of O’Sullivan Davis said: ‘A monster clearance.

‘He looks like a winner. It’s a good time for John Higgins to have a break to hopefully reset.

‘He’s got to come out really strong because Ronnie looks all of a sudden like he’s got clearance from his opponent.’

Both players resume action tomorrow morning with tonight’s evening session seeing Judd Trump try to extend his 11-5 lead over Mark Williams.

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