Today's final of the Lakeside World Championship will be contested by two 50-year-old Englishmen, Phil Nixon and Martin Adams, the oldest players among the 32 who began the tournament.
Nixon's dream run continued with a 6-4 victory over Holland's Niels de Ruiter, while Adams regained his composure to resist a superb Mervyn King fightback and reach his second final here. Adams, the England captain, scraped through 6-5 after being in complete control at 5-2 up.
Nixon, a father of eight from Durham, started as a 150-1 rank outsider, having qualified for the first time in 20 years of trying. He has beaten four seeds to reach the final but for the second consecutive match, he found it hard to finish the contest off as he allowed De Ruiter to recover from 5-1 down to 5-4.
"Fifty is not a bad age, is it?" said Nixon. "With me and Martin both being 50 you can get a 100 average." Adams added: " Phil is the man I wanted to play. It's the two old guys of the tournament - but he is three months older than me. It will be a perfect final."
When King took the match to a deciding set it looked like being another dramatic collapse by Adams, who lost the World Masters final in October from a strong position.
Adams moved 3-2 ahead just before the interval, then recovered from two legs down to go 5-2 up thanks to an almost perfect 10-darter.
King felt he was unlucky. "I should have been 4-1 up and Martin knows that - I told him at the interval he was one lucky puppy and he said 'I know'. It should have been my match."Reuse content