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Gary Wilson outshines John Higgins to claim Welsh Open final berth

Gary Wilson set up a Welsh Open final with Martin O’Donnell after potting a brilliant 147 to outclass John Higgins.

O’Donnell booked his first appearance in a ranking final when he held his nerve to see off Elliot Slessor 6-5 in Llandudno, but Wilson will head into Sunday’s showpiece on the crest of a wave after a 6-4 win took him past four-time world champion Higgins.

Wilson had been on the hunt for a maximum break in the first frame but had to settle for 104 as he missed the 14th red at the middle pocket.

He put that right in some style at the very next attempt, clearing the table with expert placement and clinical potting to bring up the fifth 147 of his own career and the 199th overall.

The Scottish Open champion received a huge ovation from the crowd at the Venue Cymru and proceeded to bank the next two frames for a 4-0 lead.

At that stage the 38-year-old looked to be cruising, but a break of 93 in the fifth finally gave the Scot a foothold.

Wilson soon re-established control to go 5-1 ahead but his golden touch deserted him as Higgins put together a run of three in a row to tease an unlikely comeback.

Higgins ran out steam in the 10th frame, with Wilson sealing a 97-4 win on the back of a 73 break.

O’Donnell had earlier survived a nervy finish of his own, going from 5-3 in front to a winner-takes-all decider.

Having previously seen off reigning world champion Luca Brecel in the quarter-final, O’Donnell dug deep to pull off a break of 126 and give himself a shot at a first title.

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