Quinten Hann once wrote himself into the snooker record books for winning 13 successive matches by a 5-4 margin.

With nerve like that, Hann fancied his chances of upsetting John Higgins in the #350,000 Grand Prix at Bournemouth yesterday, despite blowing a 4-1 advantage. Indeed, so cocksure had Hann been of completing a famous victory that he began showboating for the crowd.

The 20-year-old Australian's antics sufficiently incensed Higgins to rouse himself for a comeback that ended in a deciding frame victory. Higgins said: ''Quinten started to take the mickey by going for doubles that weren't really on and flicking out his cue after certain shots.

''But that's what he gets,'' added Higgins with reference to the final scoreline. ''It wasn't one of my best performances and I struggled hoping things would happen.

''However, Quinten is a good player and in a few seasons can become one of the top ones.''

Higgins now meets Essex left-hander Mark King for a place in the quarter-finals. He is the bookies' favourite for a #60,000 first prize and his first domestic ranking event title for 20 months.

Victory on Sunday night would also enable him to make inroads into Stephen Hendry's lead at the head of the provisional world rankings. ''I daren't look forward after what's happened here this week,'' he said, referring to the number of top players, including Hendry, who have been sent tumbling. ''But I'm not bothered who I play.''

Higgins, beaten 5-3 by Hann in last season's Thailand Open, faced another defeat when the world No.104 built-up a 4-1 and 40-1 lead. Fortunately for Higgins, his opponent missed a straightforward red and the opportunity to celebrate a repeat victory. Hann admitted: ''That was match ball. But I never had any doubts I'd win. I know I'm going to be a top eight player soon.''

Chris Small made it four Scots in the fourth round with a 5-2 win against Welshman Paul Davies. Small dispensed with his usual no frills approach to knock in a century and two other half-centuries during an encouraging display.

The world No.24 from Edinburgh said: ''Even though the match wasn't going out live, it was encouraging to play like that before the cameras. I'm playing with more self belief this season.''

Small's opponent tomorrow will be 20-year-old Alfie Burden, the 5-3 conqueror of Regal Masters champion Nigel Bond. Bond failed to shoulder the responsibility of being the last member of the Team G de Z Capital stable still in contention. He became the fifteenth and final casualty of Ian Doyle's Stirling stable giving road manager John Carroll an unexpected few days off.

Alan McManus, one of only four top 16 survivors, resumes against Jimmy White this evening, while early bird Billy Snaddon breaks off today's action against Matthew Stevens.

The first two places in the quarter-finals were filled last night though both John Parrott and Dominic Dale went to the wire in their matches.

Parrott, the world No.5 recovered from 3-1 down to put out youngster Paul Hunter 5-4 while Dale obtained two snookers on the final brown in frame eight before going on to win the decider against Dave Harold.