Wednesday, May 08, 2002
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Billiards & Snooker
Peter Ebdon is joy personified as he poses for the lensmen after claiming his maiden title in the Embassy World snooker championship at The Crucible, Sheffield on Monday. AFP
Englisman Edbon, the tournament's seventh seed, battled back from 12-14 down and survived a nerve-jangling deciding frame, when both players missed vital chances, to win the title for the first time.
``It's what I've been dreaming about for 17 years. I must be a very slow learner,'' a delighted Ebdon said afterwards.
Ebdon, famed for his mental resilience, should have won the match in the preceding frame but missed a black off its spot to let Hendry back in and take the match right to the wire.
Nerves understandably got to both men in the decider, each missing shots they would ordinarily have knocked in.
Ebdon was first to make a sizeable break (59) but needing a red along the cushion to leave fifth-seed Hendry requiring snookers he saw it bounce out off the jaws. With the remaining reds poorly positioned there was no chance of Hendry clearing up.
Instead he laid a snooker from which Ebdon, beaten by Hendry in the 1996 final, produced a fantastic escape. And when Hendry fouled on he white, Ebdon made sure of the title
The final session began with the players locked at 12-12. Earlier Hendry, who was 11-6 down after the opening frame, yet again had snooker statisticians drooling as he added to his list of record-breaking achievements. His century in the second frame of the day was his 15th of this year's tournament, surpassing the 14 hundreds knocked in by John Higgns when Hendry's fellow Scot won the world title in 1998.
And in the next frame another Hendry hundred saw him become the first player in snooker history to score 100 centuries in the World championships four in qualifiers and 96 in the main draw. AFP
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