John Higgins produced a clearance for the ages during his Northern Ireland Open final against Mark Allen, with Ronnie O’Sullivan declaring it the best he has ever witnessed.
Trailing by 47 points in the final frame of the afternoon session – and with just 51 left on the table – Higgins began seven minutes of snooker perfection by arrowing a tricky red into the bottom right pocket.
With Allen likely needing one pot to take a 5-3 lead into Sunday’s concluding session in the best-of-17 encounter, Higgins pressed on into the colours in the knowledge that one miss would leave him with a mountain to climb.
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The pick of the bunch was the final brown into the left middle pocket after the Scot ran out of position, with the four-time world champion slamming it home and finishing perfectly on the blue.
“How do you stop this man,” cried Joe Johnson on Eurosport commentary.
Higgins then swept home the blue, pink and black to leave the final all square at 4-4.
The match concludes later on Sunday with Eurosport’s coverage resuming at 18:45 BST. Stream it live and on demand on discovery+, the Eurosport app and eurosport.com
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IS JOHN HIGGINS' CLEARANCE THE BEST YOU HAVE EVER SEEN?
'That was scary stuff'
Eurosport pundits O’Sullivan and Jimmy White were full of praise for Higgins, who won the final two frames after initially appearing out of sorts in the Belfast showdown.
“It’s just unbelievable. I’ve never seen a clearance as good as that,” said O’Sullivan.
“There’s no one that would have expected him to clear the table – apart from John, because he was obviously going for the clearance.”
O’Sullivan on Higgins magic: ‘I’ve never seen a clearance as good as that’
He continued: “No other snooker player would have cleared up from there. No one. Because there were massive shots there. They weren’t shots to nothing, they were hard pots.”
Higgins has started the season in brilliant form having dismantled Yan Bingtao in the semi-finals and reeled off four frames on the spin to oust Mark Williams 4-3 in the last 16.
“Listen, that was absolutely phenomenal,” added White.
That clearance was definitely up in the top five ever I’ve seen. It was absolutely magic.
“The brown in the middle. Not only has he potted the brown, he’s got absolutely plum on the blue. That was scary stuff. That was awesome.”
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Stream the Northern Ireland Open live and on demand on discovery+, the Eurosport app and eurosport.com
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