|2017 UK Championship|
|Date: 28 Nov-10 Dec Venue: York Barbican|
|Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 2 December.|
Five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan held off Stephen Maguire’s spirited fightback to reach his seventh UK Championship final with a 6-4 victory.
O’Sullivan, beaten in last year’s final by Mark Selby, looked in ominous form early on, opening up a 4-0 lead with breaks of 61, 54 and 64.
Maguire made 91 and 129 as he cut the deficit to 5-4, but O’Sullivan – who had a 111 clearance – edged through.
He faces 2008 winner Shaun Murphy or Ryan Day in Sunday’s best-of-19 final.
“He came back at me but I was lucky to be 4-0 ahead,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport.
“He didn’t capitalise on the first few frames and I did well to stay in and am pleased to reach another UK final.
“I knew he was playing well because I saw his results and he looked to be cueing well. I knew I had to play decent to get through.”
Maguire added: “It would have been nice to get to 5-5 and see what happens. He was starting to rock a little bit because nobody likes it when you come back on them. I just did not get a chance.”
O’Sullivan improving with age
O’Sullivan is aiming to equal Steve Davis’ haul of six UK titles and victory would also draw him level with Stephen Hendry’s 18 ‘Triple Crown’ triumphs in the BBC’s World, UK and Masters events.
At 42 years old, it will also be his third ranking final of an outstanding season, having already claimed the English Open and Shanghai Masters, as well as finishing runner-up in two invitational events.
The second frame was crucial as Maguire could have levelled at 1-1 but missed a simple final black off the spot, allowing O’Sullivan to take it.
The mid-session interval seemed to help Maguire, who hit back by winning four of the next five frames, but O’Sullivan progressed with a 63 break after his opponent’s poor safety.
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