• UK Championship

Maguire shocks Higgins at UK Championship

ESPN staff
December 3, 2013
John Higgins criticised the tables at the Barbican Centre 24 hours prior to bowing out of the UK Championship © PA Photos

John Higgins' struggles on the Barbican Centre tables continued as he suffered a shock 6-3 round four defeat to Stephen Maguire at the UK Championship.

Maguire opened with a superb 90 break to take the lead before Higgins twice responded to level the match at two frames apiece.

However, three successive frames - including a superb break of 142 - moved Maguire into a strong position. A visit of 77 from the four-time world champion reduced the deficit, but his opponent sunk a pivotal long red before making a 65 to put the pressure on. With the damage seemingly done, Maguire's victory was confirmed when Higgins rattled a pink in the jaws of the pocket.

Higgins was quick to criticise the York tables following his 6-4 third round win over Jamie Burnett on Monday before launching a scathing attack on former professionals of the game.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ronnie O'Sullivan joined top seeds Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui in the last 16.

O'Sullivan enjoyed a 6-2 win over Marcus Campbell, which included two century breaks of 100 and 108, while Robertson made a superb 141 break in his 6-3 win over China's Li Hang.

"Marcus is a tough player, a hard match player," O'Sullivan told BBC Sport. "It was a bit scrappy there today, neither of us got going really and the balls were going really scrappy.

"My confidence should be high - world champion and I've just won the Champions Cup - but it doesn't seem to matter sometimes.

"I'm enjoying it at the moment because we've played a few tournaments on the bounce. But maybe I need a little bit of time off after this. You've just got to try and work the system to your advantage. It can be a grind."

Defending champion Selby made light work of Stuart Carrington, sealing a 6-0 whitewash with a visit of 96 in the final frame and Junhui was not troubled in his 6-1 triumph over Fergal O'Brien.

Elsewhere, Mark Allen produced a break of 56 to win a final frame decider against Michael Holt. Allen moved 3-0 up before Holt won three straight frames to level the game. Despite winning the next two frames with breaks of 52 and 113, Allen was pegged back once more but rallied to take the last and book his spot in round four.

David Morris ended the run of amateur Mitchell Travis with a 6-1 victory, while Ricky Walden edged a 6-5 thriller with Mark Williams. World No. 14 Robert Milkins defeated Matthew Stevens 6-2, with world finalist Barry Hawkins beating former UK champion Shaun Murphy 6-5.

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