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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Swail overpowers Doherty
Julian Shea
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Ken Doherty
Doherty won the title in 1997
Joe Swail picked up where he left off on Saturday to complete a superb 10-5 first-round win over last year's runner-up Ken Doherty.

Having made two century breaks on his way to an overnight 5-4 lead, he replied to Doherty taking the opening frame with breaks of 66, 85 and 67.

Doherty played solidly enough but Swail seemed incapable of putting a foot wrong whenever he was at the table.

After the interval, a 70 break put Swail closer before he sealed the win.

Swail was thrilled with his win and put it down to changing the habit of a lifetime and working with a coach - Del Hill.

"I think that's the best I've ever played, to be honest. It's only happened over the last few weeks since I went to see Del," he said.

"I don't believe in coaches but I had to bite the bullet and go and see him.

I'm disappointed after having gone so far in last year's tournament - it's either a feast or a famine
Ken Doherty
"Within about three shots he spotted the problem, in five minutes he sorted it out. This is the end product."

After losing to Swail, Doherty said the better man had won but said he had not taken chances when they came.

"The turning point was when I should have gone 3-0 up but I made a mistake on the yellow. If I'd got 3-0, it could have been a different story," he said.

"Had I won that, it could have kicked him in the teeth as he was a few ahead in that frame and I was on a roll.

"I'm disappointed after having gone so far in last year's tournament. It's either a feast or a famine."

First-round result:

K Doherty (Ire) 5-10 J Swail (NIr)

63-50 (50 Swail), 72-33, 59-68 (59 Doherty), 37-67 (57), 81-45 (70), 71-40 (71), 0-127 (127), 0-68, 0-110 (110), 92-21 (68), 0-91 (66), 22-113 (85), 38-72 (67), 5-82 (70), 52-72

Belfast's Joe Swail
''I never believed I could reach that standard''




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