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Maguire sets up all-Scottish final with Higgins

Maguire sets up all-Scottish final with Higgins
By Eurosport

20/02/2011 at 10:46Updated 20/02/2011 at 10:50

Stephen Maguire will face John Higgins in the Welsh Open final after outlasting Mark Selby 6-5 in a titantic semi-final tussle in Newport.

Maguire made a terrific break of 67 in the deciding frame to clinch a meeting with his close friend and fellow Scot Higgins, who downed Ali Carter 6-2 earlier on Saturday.

It is the first all-Scottish final since Stephen Hendry usurped Graeme Dott in the final of the Malta Cup six years ago.

There was never more than one frame between Selby and Maguire all night as they traded frames, heavy breaks, flukes and vital misses in an engrossing contest that never lacked drama for a fixated audience.

Maguire opened with a 70 to win the opener only for Selby to level with a couple of 39 breaks.

Maguire moved 2-1 clear with a 65 before his opponent got the better of a scrappy fourth frame to draw level at 2-2.

Former Masters champion Selby was bidding to reach his second straight ranking final after losing to Mark Williams in the German Masters at the outset of February.

He enjoyed a 3-2 advantage courtesy of a 65 only for Maguire to level with a stunning 137.

An 88 saw Selby lead 4-3 before Maguire won the next two frames with runs of 54 and 109.

Selby forced the match to a decider with a run of 90, but a poor break-off shot proved to be his downfall as Maguire finished with a telling contribution of 67 that included a brave cross double early on in the break.

Maguire - the 2004 UK champion - is bidding to win his first title since the China Open three years ago.

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