Higgins wins in a hurry

John Higgins was a man in a hurry as he swept into the second round of the Irish Masters in just 53 minutes today.

John Higgins was a man in a hurry as he swept into the second round of the Irish Masters in just 53 minutes today.

Higgins fired in breaks of 80, 95, 78, 58 and 73 in defeating Maltese number one Tony Drago 5-1.

Drago scored only nine points in the first four frames but averted the whitewash by winning the fifth with runs of 57 and 31.

Despite the swiftness of his victory, Higgins is determined not to get carried away after a disappointing season in which he has flattered to deceive.

The world number four has produced some top quality performances in the early rounds of tournaments only to struggle later on.

“I’ve played like that in matches this season and then fallen away so I need to keep my concentration going,” said Higgins, whose last title was the 2002 Irish Masters.

“I know the form is there but I haven’t had a great season and I want to finish it on a high.”

Higgins tackles Marco Fu for a place in the quarter-finals after the Hong Kong player defeated Glaswegian Alan McManus 5-1.

Fu suffered a bitterly disappointing defeat to Stuart Pettman at the Embassy World Championship qualifiers last week to be denied a Crucible place.

But he returned to form with breaks of 77, 92, 82 and 58 to advance to the last 16 in impressive fashion.

“Losing in the world championship was very tough,” Fu said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot for the last couple of days but it’s just a matter of bouncing back.”

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