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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 22:39 GMT 23:39 UK
Champion O'Sullivan sunk by Ebdon
By Julian Shea
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Peter Ebdon
Ebdon's style was controversial but effective
Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan crashed out 13-11 to Peter Ebdon in a quarter-final where the score does not tell the story of a controversial game.

O'Sullivan won the final frame of a morning dominated by Ebdon, to put him 10-6 up going into the evening, but it was downhill from that point onwards.

Ebdon's slow style got under the skin of O'Sullivan, whose game fell apart as he lost the first six evening frames.

He threatened a comeback but Ebdon held his nerve to claim a thrilling win.

The tone of the evening session and the conflict of styles became clear in the first frame of the evening session.

Ebdon took three minutes over a shot, prompting O'Sullivan to ask a spectator what the time was and even when it was clear the frame was beyond his reach, O'Sullivan carried on playing anyway.

Later, Ebdon took five minutes to make a break of 12, which was greeted with laughter by O'Sullivan.

The 24th frame was particuarly nailbiting, O'Sullivan looked on for a comfortable clearance to take the match to a deciding frame, but Ebdon held his nerve for one of the most dramatic finishes in recent Crucible history.

Ebdon said he had no regrets over the way his go-slow tactics helped him to the shock win.

"There was lots of pressure out there. I don't know what I was doing half the time but I so wanted to win," he said.

"I'm a different style for Ronnie, who's a genius, but I've just beaten the world champion. People can say what they like but I don't care.

"When I'm trying my hardest I seem to go slow. I don't do it intentionally."

O'Sullivan did not blame Ebdon for the way he played.

"Peter's got to do what he's got to do," said O'Sullivan.

"He has a wife and four kids to feed. I was just very frustrated with my own performance."

Asked about why he had played on when needing 10 snookers, O'Sullivan said: "I was just trying to find some rhythm to carry into the next frame."


79-1 (71) 137-0 (137) 63-68 101-0 (101) 98-0 (79) 86-8 48-71 110-14 (71) 60-34 (60) 69-17 (54) 47-61 51-63 16-97 (59) 76-26 0-62 (55) 62-56 (O'Sullivan 54) 35-92 39-74 (60) 33-69 36-66 36-67 14-60 67-18 36-64

Interview: Peter Ebdon denies deliberate slow play

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