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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Hunter edges out Ebdon
By Mark Orlovac
BBC Sport at the Crucible

Paul Hunter
Hunter dumped out the defending champion

Paul Hunter claimed a semi-final place after sealing a thrilling 13-12 win over defending champion Peter Ebdon.

The pair entered the final session locked at 8-8 and although Hunter drew first blood, Ebdon fired breaks of 76 and 109 to go 10-9 ahead.

Hunter, however, refused to crack and runs of 55, 106 and 71 put him within touching distance of victory.

Ebdon then took the clash to a decider after some dogged resistance before the ninth seed won a tension-filled finale.

"I knew it was going to be a tough game and I fancied it to go all the way," said Hunter.

"At 12-10 up I thought I would win it then but Peter played very well and did not give me many chances.

"I just kept positive in the final frame. I thought back to the Masters which I won 10-9 twice so I thought I could do it here."

Hunter added that the dramatic victory had given him the confidence to win the tournament.

It's going to be tough against Ken Doherty
Paul Hunter

"I could go on and win it, there's no doubt about that. I have not come this far to lose in the semis," he said.

"It's going to be tough against Ken Doherty but hopefully the crowd will get behind me and hopefully I can win."

Ebdon, meanwhile, paid tribute to Hunter's victory.

"Paul is a tremendous player, it was only a matter of time before he did well at the World Championship and I wish him all the best," said Ebdon.

"I felt more comfortable at 12-10 behind than at any time of the match. Things didn't go my way but all credit to Paul, he's a nice lad."

Quarter-final result:
Peter Ebdon (England) 12-13 Paul Hunter (England)
0-89 63-70 95-13 98-0 (98) 13-61 78-0 4-87 60-58 73-8 100-30 8-120 62-16 13-71 73-28 0-129 (128) 58-69 21-68 81-9 (76) 109-0 (109) 1-87 (55) 31-106 (106) 13-72 (71) 72-0 78-1 (53) 13-74

Paul Hunter
"A small drink beforehand just settles your nerves"

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