Higgins out of snooker world champs despite 147

LONDON (AFP) – John Higgins made only the 11th maximum break in World Snooker Championship history but saw his hopes of a fifth title shattered by a shock 13-11 second-round defeat to qualifier Kurt Maflin.

Higgins, the runner-up for the past three years, was 7-4 down before the first 147 of his glittering Crucible career in the 12th frame helped him fight back and nudge into an 11-10 lead.

But the veteran snooker player was hauled back by the Norway-based world number 43 Maflin, who reeled off three straight frames to claim the biggest win of his career on Thursday.

“Kurt played amazing, to finish it the way he did,” said the 45-year-old Higgins, whose 147 was the first maximum at the Crucible since 2012. “He bulldozed his way over the line.

“I’m disappointed because I had a chance at 11-10. I will reflect on the 147, but at the moment I’d swap that for a place in the quarter-finals.”