John Higgins and Ben Woollaston tested the credulity of Eurosport’s commentators as they fought to win their Welsh Open second round tie.
In the deciding frame, the scores stood at Higgins 41-66 Woollaston, with the Englishman 25 ahead with 27 left on the table.
Woollaston needed to pot the yellow into the middle pocket, and commentator Phil Studd set the scene: “Woollaston - 25 ahead - only needs the yellow to win, barring snookers.”
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The yellow rattled the jaws of the middle pocket before darting up the table, and it initially appeared that Higgins would step in to wrap up the frame.
However the ball continued to hug the cushion, and Studd wondered, “Wait a minute, where is it going to end up?”
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“You have got to be kidding! What an extraordinary evening this has turned out to be,” he exclaimed as the yellow dropped into the top corner pocket.
Later in the frame, Higgins was still holding on with a chance of a tense victory, with the final four balls left on the table to clear up for victory.
The Scot managed to sink the brown but left himself with a tight angle, up close on the blue, and he was forced to play safe.
Neal Foulds observed: “It’s like something is stopping the winning shots happening for John.”
He then hid the blue behind the pink to leave the scores on 52-68, forcing an error from Woolaston to give him a straightforward chance on the blue.
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Studd then praised Higgins’ perseverance through the flukes and the difficult positioning.
“One of the things that HIggins has not allowed himself to do in this remarkable match is lose faith in his ability to eventually prevail, so many things have conspired against him,” he said.
Higgins sent the pink to the middle pocket and dispatched the white on a return journey down the table and back to sit on the black with an expertly measured stroke.
The result of the frame and match rested on the black, and Studd said: “High drama, it’s fitting it comes down to the final ball.
“What a remarkable match it’s been. Where to begin to tell the tale of that extraordinary rollercoaster?”
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