Snooker: Rocket's revival stuns Higginson
Ronnie O'Sullivan battled back from 4-0 down to earn a vital win over Andrew Higginson in the first round of the German Masters in Berlin.
O'Sullivan went into the mid-session interval facing the possibility of a whitewash and was within one ball of defeat in frame six, but dug deep to reach the second round.
Higginson led 2-0 after breaks of 67 and 80, the latter seeing him miss the 11th red of a 147 attempt. He added the third frame and it was 4-0 at the interval after he prevailed in a safety battle on the final pink.
O'Sullivan finally got on the board with an 86 in the first frame back.
Higginson racked up 54 in the next before a kick and two unlucky positional shots ended the break at 63, when any colour would have left O'Sullivan needing snookers. To make matters worse, he carelessly left a long red for his opponent and the three-time world champion cleared superbly to come back to 4-2.
A 60 break cut the deficit to one frame and he then levelled before taking a 56-0 lead in the decider, breaking down when he went for a difficult red in search of a maximum. Higginson made only 20 before missing a difficult mid-length red and O'Sullivan got over the line for a vital win.
Dubliner Ken Doherty was whitewashed 5-0 by old foe Mark Williams.
THREE Irish golfers are in contention for the NSW Amateur Championship in Sydney.
Mourne's Reeve Whitson and Niall Gorey joined Gary Hurley in the top 10 after shooting 72 and 71 respectively on day two at Mona Vale.
Hurley followed up his opening 70 with a 74, which left him tied for fourth with Whitson and local favourites Daniel Bringolf and Jordan Zunic on 144.
While Hurley, Whitson and Gorey, who is tied for eighth on 145, easily made the cut for the final 36 holes, Ballymena's Dermot McElroy only just made it.
In awful conditions, he carded a second successive 76 to finish the day tied for 57th place, bang on the magic number of 152 for a spot in the second-half of the tournament.
Neil Raymond and Brett Drewitt ended the second round as joint leaders on 141.
SWRC Championship leader Craig Breen will take part in the Rally Finnskog tomorrow as the 2011 WRC Academy Champion builds up to round two of the SWRC in Sweden next week.
Breen celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday by going skidooing, but took time out in the -22 degree temperatures to reflect his result in the Monte Carlo Rally and look ahead to this weekend's competition.
"We were delighted with our result on the Monte, but it must be put into perspective, we were the only SWRC crew to finish. PG (Andersson, Proton) drove a flawless rally and was very unlucky when he was forced to retire.
"Don't get me wrong I was very happy to collect full points and getting a 25- point jump start in the championship is important, but I would have preferred to take the victory on the stages."