Higgins To Face Gould For Bendigo Title


John Higgins will face Martin Gould in the final of the 2015 Australian Goldfields Open, after the pair came through their semi-finals against Jamie Jones and Stephen Maguire earlier today.

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One of snooker’s modern adages is that one should never write off John Higgins and so it was proven today once again as the Scot came back from 4-0 down to defeat Jamie Jones 6-4 in the first semi-final in Bendigo.

With breaks of 96, 78 and 51 during the first four frames, Welshman Jones made the dream start to his maiden ranking event semi-final, Higgins later admitting that he felt that he had not done too much wrong.

The Scot though would hit back in style, runs of 134, 133, 92 and 89 helping him to take all six frames after the interval, though perhaps it will be this incredible fluke on the blue that the match will best be remembered for.

The prospect of an all-Scottish final beckoned, but he will not be joined by his countryman Stephen Maguire after the world number 15 fell to Martin Gould in the days second semi-final.

Like Jones, Gould won the opening four frames with a string of sizeable breaks, only to see Maguire start a fightback by taking the first frame after the interval. Gould though has good memories of playing Maguire, having beaten him last season in Wuxi and also to win his maiden UKPTC title a few years back and added the next two frames to progress to his first ranking event final since the 2011 PTC Grand Finals.

In terms of the final itself, Higgins will of course start as favourite as he looks to claim what would be the 27th ranking event victory of his trophy laden career, but not by much given the standard of snooker that Gould has produced all week.

Indeed it marks the second season in a row that Gould has enjoyed a strong summer, having reached the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic in 2014 and he will now be looking to win what would probably be the biggest title of his career to date.

In terms of the head to head, interestingly there is virtually nothing to go on, as once you filter out the Championship League there is just a single meeting at a European PTC event five years ago between them.

Victory for Higgins would move him up a place in the rankings to 12th above 2013 Bendigo champion Marco Fu, while Gould would move up a further four places to 21st, having today nudged up above Alan McManus to 25th.

Who do you think will pick up the title and £37,500 top prize tomorrow?