JOHN HIGGINS blew away arch-rival Ronnie O’Sullivan in their semi-final grudge match at the Scottish Open.

Higgins branded the Rocket a “disgrace” for his controversial comments discouraging kids to play snooker and then the Scot  made sure he did his talking on the table, hammering the Rocket 6-1 in the pair’s one-sided semi-final showdown at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

“It’s amazing to beat Ronnie as convincingly as I did, it’s a brilliant feeling,” said the Scot who is now just one victory away from pocketing the £70,000 first prize having last won the competition way back in 1996.

“I rode my luck a little bit during the day, but when you’re playing well you get those bits of luck. It [luck] goes against you sometimes, so when you get it you’ve got to capitalise.

“I knew I was hitting through the ball well. I felt good when I came back to beat Dave [Gilbert] in my last match. I felt in the groove.”

There were no doubts Higgins was in the groove as he powered 3-0 ahead with breaks of 125, 76 and 49.

And the four-time world champion should have led 4-0 at the interval, only to waste his chance. O’Sullivan capitalised with a break of 86 to keep his own hopes alive.

However, a focused Higgins finished the job in style following the resumption, pocketing breaks of 98, 74 and 42 to leave six-time world champion O’Sullivan shell-shocked.

“I was disappointed not to be 4-0 up, but I felt good at 3-1, I was focused,” said the Wishaw Wizard. “I can’t wait for the final. I’d love to win in front of my family, but I’ll have to see about getting them down here to watch.

“It’s a long journey down for the family and some of the kids have already missed a few Mondays at school, so they might just let me get on with it. It would be amazing to take the trophy home for them.”

Higgins has been the player of the season having reached four major finals. But the 46-year-old has lost them all, leaving him questioning his ability to win titles.

Today, he will face compatriot Anthony McGill or Belgian potter Luca Brecel in the best-of-17 frame showcase final.

“If you’re putting yourself in a final, well you’re putting yourself in a position to win a tournament,” added Higgins. “One day the door will open, so I’m doing as much as I can to try and do it.

“It was a long time ago that I won the Scottish Open, but I’d dearly love to win it. I’m just going to stay focused on the final and see what happens.

“I’ve been working hard on my game to improve. It’s tough to keep doing it because I’ve played a certain way for a long time, but I’m always looking to see if I can improve.”