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Nic Ladds 3rd May 2009 - 11:13

Higgins favourite in the final to beat Murphy on the baize

John Higgins is priced as marginal favourite for today's snooker World Championship final at the Crucible in Sheffield as 2005 champion Shaun Murphy hopes for a second title.

The Wizard of Wishaw eventually defeated youngster and likely future champion Mark Allen 17-13, after being pushed further than the score might suggest.

Lapses in concentration, which have been somewhat apparent throughout the tournament, again plagued the Scot as the 13-3 lead heading into the final session was beaten back as Allen went on to take nine of the next eleven frames, before finally losing the match 17 frames to 13.

After the entertaining final session, Higgins could relax ahead of Sunday's final in Sheffield.

"I feel total relief," said Higgins, the Wizard "I was just thinking I could throw this away here. All credit to Mark. He's great for the game - he's like a street-fighter. He gets the crowd behind him as well. As I said to him afterwards, he will come back and win it one day."

Higgins, who has previously won the World Championship in 1998 and 2007, will face 2005 champion Shaun Murphy in today's final in where a close match is likely with the favourites in the winning margins betting being the shorter margins.

John Higgins to win with by margin of only 1-3 frames is available to back at 5/2, with Murphy to win by the same margin 11/4.

Murphy managed to qualify for the final after beating Australian Neil Robertson in a match which saw the eventual victor lose seven straight frames.

Robertson began what can only be described as an epic comeback, fighting back from 14 - 7 down, taking the following seven frames.

But as the mid-session interval arrived and the boys returned to the baize, Murphy looked a new man and completed the thrilling match within the following three frames.

Breaks of 106, 81 and 94 saw The Whiston Warrior complete his victory and qualify for his second World Championship final where large breaks are sure to be a key factor. 'Highest match break' where Higgins is favourite in the betting at 8/11 is one of 17 available markets covering all the all the angles.

Listen to William Hill's very own Dave Kelner as he chats to Ian McCulloch about today's final

View William Hill's markets covering today's final.


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