Higgins through despite second defeat

John Higgins suffered a second defeat in as many days but still went through to the knockout stage of the 888sport.com Six Reds World Championship at the INEC in Killarney tonight.

Higgins was beaten 4-3 on the black by Indian Adiyta Mehta 24 hours after losing in a decider to women’s world champion Reanne Evans.

But the reigning 15 red world champion still finished third in his group and has therefore qualified.

“It’s a good format but it’s also tough because you know that you hardly have to do anything wrong to lose a frame,” said Higgins, who lost a draining UK Championship final 10-8 to Ding Junhui last Sunday.

“I’ve lost a couple of matches but I’m glad I came out here. Ken Doherty asked me to play and I know what a beautiful city Killarney is because we had a World Series event here earlier in the year.

“I like the open plan set up. It gives the public the chance to walk round the arena and watch different players and matches.

“I just hope I can be more consistent during the rest of the tournament.”

Higgins won the sixth frame on the black and was well ahead in the decider but Mehta made a steely colours clearance to complete his shock victory.

Stephen Hendry was in danger of losing his first match after three successive victories when he trailed Brazilian Itaro Santos 2-0.

However, Santos missed frame ball red in the third, Hendry cleared up and went on to win 4-2.

All 25 main tour professionals playing in Killarney have qualified for the knockout phase.

Six reds snooker is played using the same rules as the established game but with nine fewer reds. It has been described as snooker’s version of Twenty/20 cricket.

The tournament runs until Friday. Entry is free for the first two days with tickets costing €10 on the final two days.

The 130 players from as far afield as Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates have been split into 23 groups for the round robin stage, played over the first two days, with the knockout phase getting underway on Thursday.

The last two days are being broadcast live on Eurosport and the winner will pocket a cheque for €10,000.

Results and group draws available at: www.6redworldchampionships.com