Alan McManus knocks John Higgins out of UK Championship

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John Higgins became the latest big name to crash out of the UK Championship after losing a thrilling second round clash 6-5 to his friend and fellow Scot Alan McManus.

The three-time champion, who struggled in his first round win over Dechawat
Poomjaeng at York’s Barbican Centre, won the first frame but lost the next three to trail McManus 3-1 at the interval.

Four successive frames put Higgins one away from victory at 5-3 but McManus – who has never reached the final of this tournament – reduced the deficit before dominating the last two frames to reach round three.

Betway UK Championships – Day Two – York Barbican
John Higgins bowed out of the UK Championship on Saturday (Richard Sellers/PA)

But there were no such problems for world champion Mark Williams, who brushed aside Daniel Wells 6-0 to move closer to a title which would see him return to world number one.

Elsewhere on the opening day of second round matches, Jack Lisowski was a comfortable 6-1 conqueror of Mei Xi Wen, with two centuries in the first three frames helping him on his way.

Betway UK Championships – Day Five – York Barbican
Neil Robertson is through to the third round (Simon Cooper/PA)

Three Chinese players made sure of progress in the afternoon. Xiao Guodong beat Ben Woollaston, compiling seven 50+ breaks in the 6-3 success, Zhou Yuelong ousted Mark Davis 6-4 and Tian Pengfei knocked out Jimmy Robertson 6-2. Lu Ning followed them in the evening with a 6-4 victory over Mark Joyce.

Kyren Wilson recovered from losing the first two frames to see off Mike Dunn, Stuart Bingham edged out Kurt Maflin 6-5,  while a break of 113 in the final frame enabled Tom Ford to do likewise to Robert Milkins.

There were also wins for Barry Hawkins, Joe Perry,  Mark King and Sunny Akani.

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