John Higgins brought the Barbican Centre crowd to their feet with a 147 maximum break in his williamhill.com UK Championship clash with Mark Davis last night.
It came when he needed something special, trailing Davis 5-2 in their best-of-11 second-round clash. He duly pulled back to 5-5 before losing a tense deciding frame.
The 37-year-old Scot earned a £10,000 bonus for what was his second maximum of the season, the first coming in his victory over Judd Trump in the Shanghai Masters final in September.
Higgins made it look as though there was never any doubt, with the reds split kindly and the white under control throughout. He rattled in the black before making a sharp exit from the arena to compose himself. It was Higgins’ seventh competitive 147 and the 95th in professional competition.
Belgian teenager Luca Brecel stunned veteran Mark King with a thrilling fightback to reach the quarter-finals.
There was no panic from the 17-year-old when he fell 3-0 behind in the early stages at York’s Barbican Centre and a run of five frames in a row took him to the brink of victory.
Romford player King, 38, edged back to within one frame, but Brecel seized his chance in the next and a brilliant long red clinched the 6-4 victory. For King it was a second painful defeat by Brecel this year, having been beaten 10-8 by the precocious youngster in April in the final round of World Championship qualifying.
World No 2 Mark Selby also edged through to the last eight. He too came from 3-0 behind on the other table to knock out Ryan Day 6-4.
“It’s amazing, unbelievable. It was a great match for me. I was feeling very bad and I wanted to go home. In the fourth frame everything changed. After the first frame I won I gained in confidence,” said Brecel of his win. “It was an amazing moment at the end.”
Brecel knocked out Ricky Walden in the first round, riding his luck against a player who was well below his best, and then found King struggling to perform after letting the early lead slip.
Brecel said: “I’ve not really surprised myself with how I’ve done. I’m still not playing well so hopefully in the next game I can play a bit better. It’s good to be here. Nearly everyone’s supporting me, so that’s good. People expect a lot from me but I’m only 17 so I have time enough to develop my game.” Brecel faces Shaun Murphy next.
Neil Robertson beat Barry Hawkins 6-2.