In a season of surprises, Robert Milkins added his name to the rollcall of winners when beating Kyren Wilson 4-2 to win the final of the Gibraltar Open.
Milkins’ previous claim to fame in an awful season was turning up drunk at the Turkish Masters, having a row with guests and being taken to hospital to have his stomach pumped.
He apologised for his actions earlier this month, and in his first outing since he found form from nowhere to stun Wilson - adding his name to breakthrough wins for the likes of David Gilbert, Zhao Xintong, Luca Brecel, Hossein Vafaei and Fan Zhengyi.
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Milkins may also be receiving a message of thanks from John Higgins, who earlier in the day was confirmed as the European Series winner, as his win means the Scot and not Wilson will take the final spot at next week’s Tour Championship.
'It is a dream come true' - Milkins on first career title
At 46, it is late in the day to be making the breakthrough - but Milkins has always possessed a stack of talent and may now realise the potential.
Wilson started impressively with a run of 59, but he rattled a black in the jaws of the left corner and Milkins stepped in with a nerve-settling break of 71 to steal the opening frame of his first ranking tournament final.
While the opener was a tale of two good breaks, the second was a scrappy affair which boiled down to a safety battle on the yellow. Wilson won that battle, but left the yellow in the jaws of the green pocket when attempting to hold for the green and Milkins knocked in the colours he needed to open up a two-frame lead.
Wilson was rock solid earlier in the tournament, but his potting arm was a level below his usual standard in the final and Milkins was able to eke out a telling advantage and held firm as his opponent chased three snookers to move within one frame of the title.
Wilson missed a straight pink by an alarming distance in the fourth, but for the first time in the match - with the winning line in sight - Milkins did not punish as he overcut a red and his opponent secured a foothold thanks to a break of 65.
The pockets began to look a little smaller for Milkins and a couple of alarming misses in the fifth brought Shredsville to mind. Conversely, Wilson started to find his range and he cut the gap to one.
A missed blue off the spot from Milkins in the sixth was greeted with a scratch of the head, but Wilson also began to miss and the former secured a 24-point advantage early in the frame.
It did not sound like a lot, but in a low-scoring affair it was huge and after Wilson missed a pink to right middle, Milkins - despite some jabby strokes - chipped away enough points to secure a famous win.
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