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Robertson Snatches Final Play-Off Spot In Dramatic Fashion

Neil Robertson celebrates a terrific fightback to reach the play-offs (credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Neil Robertson produced a spectacular turnaround to book his place in the Premier League play-offs, recovering from 2-0 down to defeat Ding Junhui 4-2 in Durham on Thursday evening.

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Robertson new that only victory would be sufficient for him to leapfrog Ding into the final play-off position, and the Masters Champion staged a superb fightback to deny China's number one and march into finals weekend in style.

The nerves were there for all to see as both squandered chances in a gripping black ball fight in the opener, before Ding eventually kept his cool to take the lead.

The Championship League and Welsh Open champion looked to be sailing into the semis as he compiled a superb break of 95 to double his advantage, missing the green which would have all but guaranteed him his first century of the tournament.

Ding stormed into a considerable lead in the third frame, but Robertson, at the point of no return, kick-started the comeback with an exhibition-style display, almost screwing in the white to middle after the potting the pink, but firing in an outrageous double on the black from out of the jaws to recover and clinch the frame. 

The momentum clearly lay with the left-hander as he drew level courtesy of a run of 70, before a loose safety from Ding allowed Robertson to edge ahead at 3-2 and send the game into an effective shoot-out for qualification.

Ding looked to be on his way to Grimsby for the Semi-Finals as he marched into a 57 point lead in the decider, but the plucky Australian defied the odds by erasing the deficit with a clearance ending on the final pink to wrap up victory and an all-important play-off place.

The final pot was met with a huge roar of delight from Robertson as he sets up a mouth-watering clash with a certain Judd Trump in the Semi-Finals, while Group winner Stuart Bingham takes on Group B runner-up - John Higgins.

Higgins missed his chance to end the round-robin campaign in top spot as he slipped to a 4-2 defeat to Peter Ebdon, despite producing two century breaks.

Ebdon, who was already eliminated prior to the match, took a scrappy opening frame, before four-time World Champion Higgins brilliantly reeled off consecutive clearances of 125 and 134 to take the lead and earn an extra £2,000 in prize money.

The 2002 world champion, though, managed to halt his opponent's momentum, winning the next two frames to put his nose back in front, before completing the victory with a break of 81. 

The Semi-Finals are to be held on Saturday November 24, with the final played on the following evening at the Auditorium, Grimsby.

Premier League Snooker Week 10 Results
Spennymoor Leisure Centre - Durham

Group A - Neil Robertson 4-2 Ding Junhui

Group B - John Higgins 2-4 Peter Ebdon

Final Group A table

               P W D L FW FL 100+ £money Pts
S. Bingham      4 3 1 0 19 5 4    £23,000 7
Neil Robertson 4 3 0 1 13 11 1    £14,000 6
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Ding Junhui 4 2 0 2 12 12 0    £12,000 4
Shaun Murphy 4 1 1 2 12 12 2    £14,000 3
Mark Selby 4 0 0 4 5 20 0    £4,000 0

Final Group B table

                       P W D L FW FL 100+ £earned Pts
Judd Trump      3 2 0 1 11 7 0 £19,000 4
John Higgins    3 2 0 1 10 8 3 £17,000 4
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Peter Ebdon 3 1 0 2 8 10 1 £15,000 2
Mark Allen 3 1 0 2 7 11 1 £10,000 2


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Robertson Snatches Final Play-Off Spot In Dramatic Fashion

Neil Robertson produced a spectacular turnaround to book his place in the Premier League play-offs, recovering from 2-0 down to defeat Ding Junhui 4-2 in Durham on Thursday evening.

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