Mark Williams completed a 'grand slam' of BBC titles after winning the LG Cup final 9-5 over John Higgins in an eventful final at the Guild Hall Preston on Sunday night.

Williams pocketed the title and a cheque for £82,500 for his win, but a contest full of highlights, will be most remembered for a 147 break by John Higgins in the 11th frame.

Higgins' break earned him £25,000 to go with the runners-up cheque of £42,500. It was only the fourth maximum in a final, the three previous all being made by Stephen Hendry. The 47th maximum on the official list is Higgins' third.

After struggling through his first three matches, the 28-year-old Welshman hit peak form to defeat Ken Doherty 6-3 in the semi-finals and he carried that level through to the final.

He led 5-3 at the end of the first session and kept his opponent at arm's length. The maximum magic from the 'Wizard of Wishaw' cut the deficit to 6-5 but that was as close as he got as the world No.1 won the next three frames.

It was nip and tuck again in the 14th frame but, fittingly, Williams sealed victory with a trademark long pot on the blue. The pink and black were a mere formality after the brilliance of that shot.

Williams has now won 15 ranking titles, drawing level with Higgins at No.3 on the all-time list. After winning the World Championship last May, he has now claimed back-to-back ranking titles for the third time in his career.

The result extends his already massive lead at the top of the world rankings. Higgins had to console himself with a runners-up spot and the knowledge that he is now ranked only second best to Williams.

The British Open is now next in line at the Brighton Centre between November 8 and 16.

Before that, there will be the qualifiers in Wales for the European Open, starting on October 31.

The World Snooker Association announced earlier this month that the European Open will be played in Malta between March 1 and 6 next year.

IBSF World Championships

Alex Borg was back to winning ways on Day Two of the World Championships in Jiangmen, China, yesterday. The Malta champion beat Chi-Yao Chang, of Taipei, 4-2 (43-73, 8-100, 94(57)-7, 118-17(62), 60-53, 63-59).

On the opening day on Sunday, Borg was beaten 4-2 by N. Ireland's Dermot McGlinchey. Today, he plays against Risto Varynen, of Finland.


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