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Sunday, 8 December, 2002, 22:47 GMT
Ebdon survives Harold test
Mark Williams
Mark Williams enjoyed an easier victory than Ebdon

World champion Peter Ebdon staved off a determined fightback from Dave Harold to reach the last 16 of the UK Championship.


Ebdon looked on his way to a convincing victory in York after extending his 5-3 overnight advantage to 8-3.


The more pressure there is the more I seem to enjoy it - I'm feeling good at the moment
Peter Ebdon

But Harold notched back-to-back century breaks as he won four frames in a row before Ebdon held his nerve to win 9-7.

"Dave is a very, very tough player. When his back was against the wall he produced the stuff we all know he is capable of," said Ebdon.

"Fortunately, I got a half-decent chance and scored enough points to make it count.

"Strangely enough, the more pressure there is the more I seem to enjoy it. I'm feeling good at the moment."

Williams through

Mark Williams was made to work for the two frames he required to wrap up a 9-2 second-round win over Anthony Davies.

The world number two and 1999 UK champion, who had led 7-1 overnight, saw fellow Welshman Davies take the first frame of the morning on the blue.

But Williams slogged his way through the next two to clinch a third-round berth against Scotland's Chris Small.

"I did nothing wrong in the first eight frames and I played excellently. You should never lose after going 7-1 up," said Williams.

He was also delighted to extend his run of victories in tournament opening rounds to a remarkable 41 straight wins stretching back to February 1998.

"It's great and I want it to go on and on. I'm looking to get as many as I can now," he said.


There were a lot of scrappy frames but I'm happy with the 5-3 lead
Ken Doherty

However, the Ebbw Vale potter admitted he would rather his latest success had not come at the expense of Davies, who hails from Barry.

"I don't like playing Welsh players. I'd rather beat someone else to be honest, English, Scottish, whatever. He is a good mate as well which makes it harder," he said.

Ken Doherty and Paul Hunter fought out a cagey game of nip-and-tuck in their scrap for a quarter-final place.

World number eight Hunter sits just one place below Doherty in the current world rankings and refused to cede any ground on last year's beaten finalist.

Dubliner Doherty three times went ahead only for local lad Hunter to cling on to his coat-tails for 3-3.

A run of 61 in the seventh saw Doherty move 4-3 up before gaining precious breathing space to lead 5-3 overnight.

"There were a lot of scrappy frames but I'm happy with the 5-3 lead," said Doherty.

"I'm going to have to up my game and I don't expect him to miss as many in the next session. Hopefully I won't miss so many myself."

Underdog Graeme Dott produced two century breaks to leave his third round match against five-times champion Stephen Hendry finely poised at 4-4.

Matthew Stevens struggled against Robert Milkins, who leads the world number eight 5-3.

And Stephen Lee and Drew Henry stuttered through a third-round encounter as they took three hours 33 minutes to complete their opening eight frames.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Kung Fu Ebdon
Snooker champ calls on his karate alter ego

Action from York

BBC Sport Academy

Q&A: Steve Davis

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