Higgins latest big name to falter

John Higgins joined the growing list of surprise casualties at the LG Cup today but Ronnie O'Sullivan kept his title ambitions…

John Higgins joined the growing list of surprise casualties at the LG Cup today but Ronnie O'Sullivan kept his title ambitions on track by powering into the quarter-finals.

Higgins was shocked 5-1 by fellow Scot Chris Small to become the fifth member of the game's top eight to crash out.

But O'Sullivan avoided a similar exit by recovering from 3-1 down to beat Michael Holt 5-3.

Small hit Higgins with 300 unanswered points during a remarkable spell that carried him 4-0 ahead. The world number 29 from Leith made breaks of 58, 71 and 100 as he headed towards a whitewash before Higgins stopped the rot by winning the fifth frame.

But Small grabbed the sixth to book his last eight place and complete an incredible turn around in fortunes.

O'Sullivan looked in danger of becoming the 11th member of the top 16 to be knocked out when world number 35 Holt shot into a 3-1 lead.

The Nottingham pro's mannerisms frustrated O'Sullivan and he smacked the pink off the table with his cue as he went off for the interval break.

But the world number one still came back to win 5-3, with a top break of 113, and set up a last eight clash with Small.

"I didn't realise what Michael was like until I came off at the interval," said O'Sullivan. "He was going round pulling little faces and touching the table. I don't want to see that when I'm watching snooker.

"Apparently he's done peoples' heads in before doing that but as soon as I realised he wasn't just doing it to me I was OK.

"To be honest, I felt dodgy from the word go and it was only when my back was against the wall that I decided to come out and have a go."