Snooker: Thorburn's experience tells

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The Independent Online
CLIFF THORBURN was the only one of three former world champions to reach the seventh qualifying round of the European Open in Blackpool yesterday.

The veteran Canadian progressed with a typically hard- fought 5-3 win over the Yorkshireman, Barry West, but Alex Higgins and Joe Johnson lost.

Johnson, the 1986 world champion, lost 5-4 to Wigan's Nick Dyson after racing into a 3-0 lead while Higgins crashed out 5-4 to Paul Cavney, the world No 163 from Leeds.

Higgins, who begins the 1994-95 campaign 48th on the ranking list - his best position for four years - could not string together any breaks of note.

John Higgins, 19, the Scotsman fresh from winning the Australian Open title in Sydney last month, fired in breaks of 51, 68, 44, 54 and 101 during a 5-1 victory over Nottingham's Paul Gibson.