The shocks and surprises continued at the Welsh Open snooker tournament yesterday, as England's Ben Woollaston continued his amazing breakthrough event, beating Mark Williams in a close semi-final. It will be the 27-year-old's first ranking event final, where he will face the evergreen Scottish player John Higgins, who put out the giant-killing Luca Brecel.

It proved to be an extremely close encounter between the Englishman, Woollaston and the home favourite, Williams and required a final frame decider to separate the pair. The 36th ranked player in the world from Leicester had looked to be in command of the match, when he established a 5-3 lead to stand on the brink of reaching the final in Cardiff, but to actually get over the winning line can often prove to be the hardest challenge a snooker player faces.

As Williams clinched the next two frames to level at 5-5 it looked as though Woollaston may have finally met his match, but he dug deep to claim the final frame and a spot in the last-two on Sunday.

In the final he will face three-time winner Higgins, the far more experienced of the two players. The 'Wizard of Wishaw' has 25 ranking titles in total to his name in a long career, including four world titles, but the 39-year-old looks keen to claim another title in Wales. He had another tough battle in his semi-final before overcoming the young Belgian sensation, Luca Brecel, 6-4.

Brecel had already disposed of the current world champion Mark Selby and also Ricky Walden in the tournament and has demonstrated that he clearly has a big match temperament, but the world ranked 66 player found Higgins a formidable adversary.

Showing his terrific break-building ability of years gone by, the Scot completed three century breaks during the semi-final, yet still had to survive a fight-back from the up and coming youngster as he took three frames in a row to edge ahead at 3-2. Higgins acknowledged the ability of his opponent after and likened him to Judd Trump when he first became known to snooker watchers.

Earlier in the tournament, there had been some concern expressed by people who had noticed the Muslim player Rory McLeod sporting a badge on his waistcoat that seemed to read "Isis". The 43-year-old Brit was playing Ronnie O'Sullivan at the time and was forced to defend himself against a barrage of outrage on social media as a result, as viewers clearly thought it was an open statement of support for the extremist Islamist terror group. In fact, the badge was merely to advertise the logo of one of his sponsors, Isis Business Solutions.