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FAN-TASTIC FOR RONNIE!

Newly-adopted Irishman Ronnie O'Sullivan (pictured) reached the first Benson & Hedges Irish Masters semi-final of his career with a 6- 4 win over John Higgins.

O'Sullivan, whose grandfather hails from Cork, hit two century breaks in a top-class exhibition of snooker which thrilled the Goffs crowd. After defeats for Dubliners Ken Doherty and Stephen Murphy on Wednesday, the Irish have made Rocket Ronnie their favourite for the tournament.

The 21-year-old, from Essex, said: "The crowd seemed to be behind me all the time. It's great to have them rooting for me.

"I suppose with a name like O'Sullivan they'd have to be supporting me!" Breaks of 42 and 40 gave O'Sullivan the first frame 86-31.

In the second frame, the Londoner notched up a 101 break in just five minutes and added a 121 in the third.

Scot Higgins said: "I wasn't scoring heavily enough to beat Ronnie today and I wasn't comfortable with my cue.''
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 21, 1997
Words:155
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