Heroic Andy Hicks reaches first UK Championship quarter-final in 26 years
Andy Hicks is through to the UK Championship last eight for the first time in over a quarter of a century after beating David Gilbert 6-5 on Thursday.
Currently ranked 102nd in the world, the 48-year-old arrived at the York Barbican Centre having not reached the quarter-finals of a ranking event as a professional since the 2004 British Open.
It was a further nine years earlier that he reached the UK Championship semi-finals, having also enjoyed a run to the same stage at the Crucible a few months previously.
But the Devonian has rolled back the years this week; prevailing in deciding frames against 2015 finalist Liang Wenbo, as well as Michael Holt and Dominic Dale.
Hicks also demonstrated his bottle against Championship League winner Gilbert; coming from behind on four separate occasions with breaks of 88, 82 and 67, before a run of 56 in the decider saw him over the line.
His reward is a showdown with fellow left-hander Barry Hawkins, who secured his first quarter-final appearance here in eight years after a 6-3 win over Matthew Selt.
Selt, who shocked Judd Trump in the previous round, capitalised on a lacklustre start by Hawkins with runs of 88 and 73 putting him 3-1 to the good.
However, the Hawk appeared rejuvenated after the interval; reeling off five successive frames with breaks of 103, 99 and 92 sealing the deal.
Earlier in the day, Jack Lisowski booked his place in the last eight for the second year running after seeing off Hossein Vafaei 6-4.
‘Jackpot’ hit top breaks of 88, 82 and 72, while a lovely 115 clearance proved academic for his opponent, who stunned World champion Mark Selby earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Luca Brecel breezed through to his third UK quarter-final after putting Anthony Hamilton to the sword 6-1.
The ‘Belgian Bullet’ produced breaks of 72 and 69 on his way to a commanding victory.
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UK Championship Snooker 2021 Day Nine Results
Thursday December 2
Anthony Hamilton 1-6 Luca Brecel
Jack Lisowski 6-4 Hossein Vafaei
Matthew Selt 3-6 Barry Hawkins
David Gilbert 5-6 Andy Hicks