SNOOKER: Higgins in the money

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John Higgins broke the £100,000 seasonal prize-money barrier for the first time in his professional career yesterday by beating Darren Morgan 5-2 in the second round of the Benson and Hedges Masters at Wembley Conference Centre.

The 19-year-old now meets his fellow Scot, Alan McManus, who along with Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty is the only player to beat Higgins to the £100,000 mark during the current campaign.

Higgins, winner of the Skoda Grand Prix title in October, looked to be heading for a 5-0 success when he dominated Morgan in the early stages of the match. While Morgan was missing a succession of simple pots, Higgins enjoyed breaks of 46, 32, 45 and 111- his second century of the tournament - to open a 4-0 lead.

Frame five came down to the final black: Morgan tried to pot into a baulk pocket, but was so far out that the ball rebounded off three cushions and shot into a middle pocket to make the score four frames to one.

Morgan briefly appeared capable of making a comeback when he won the sixth frame with a 104 clearance, but Higgins was in no mood to surrender his advantage and won a scrappy seventh frame to record his 14th victory in 15 matches this year.