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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK
Walker ends Lee hopes
By Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Stephen Lee
Lee could not stage a late rally
Stephen Lee became the fifth seed to exit at the first-round stage as Wales' Lee Walker completed a surprisingly comfortable 10-7 win at The Crucible.

Walker had a 6-3 overnight lead but was slow out of the blocks as Lee took three of the first four frames.

The Welshman outlasted Lee in a 53-minute 12th frame and reeled off two in a row to move 9-6 in front.

Lee closed the gap with a rapid 98 break, but Walker grabbed his chance in the last frame to clinch a superb win.

The outcome was not a surprise for a disconsolate Lee, who said: "I didn't deserve to win so it's a bit disheartening.

"It's been a terrible season and this defeat just about sums my year up.

"I couldn't take any chances and he won all the scrappy frames.

"I've taken a mental bashing and I'll have to take some time off to think about it."

Walker admitted his win was as much down to Lee's poor form as his own ability, but was still happy to enjoy the victory.

"If he'd played the way he can, it was going to be very difficult for me to get any sort of result," he said.

"Those frames in the middle were poor frames, but they're really important to win. If you win scrappy frames it's not so bad, but if you lose it's a downer.

"I'd not been here for six years so the pressure is more than anywhere else."

First round (best of 19 frames):
S Lee (Eng) 7-10 L Walker (Wal)
77-17 (67) 85-1 0-91 (86) 81-23 51-52 40-64 47-78 (58) 11-68 (50) 35-64, 70-44, 73-0, 39-59, 73-8, 31-66, 21-93, 98-0, 24-60.




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