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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 April, 2004, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Stevens shoots down Hunter
By Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Matthew Stevens celebrates victory over Paul Hunter
Stevens edged a nailbiting decider
Matthew Stevens fought back from a seemingly hopeless position to edge out Paul Hunter 13-12 at The Crucible.

Stevens, who began the session 10-6 behind, took all four of the opening frames to level after an inspired run with breaks of 58, 53, 64 and 73.

Hunter went 12-10 up but let Stevens back in with a missed match-ball pink in the 23rd.

The ninth seed cleared up to narrow the gap, forced a decider and edged a nail-biting decider on the pink.

Stevens was delighted with victory over his close friend but admitted his heart was in his mouth during a thrilling final frame.

"I played four perfect frames at the start, but then Paul came back well and I had to dig deep," said Stevens.

"It was an unbelievable end. We were both going for shots and missing - it was like the Davis and Taylor final.

He was a bit lucky, but that's snooker and it's not the end of the world
Paul Hunter
"I think Paul is one the top two players in the world - he was the man to beat at this tournament."

A disappointed Hunter reiterated his desire to become world champion.

"You've got to believe in yourself in this game and I do - before the end of my career I will definitely be lifting that silver trophy," said Hunter.

"I was trying my hardest but I suppose the pressure did get to me a bit.

"He was a bit lucky, but that's snooker and it's not the end of the world."

Second-round result (best of 25 frames):
M Stevens (Wal) 13-12 P Hunter (Eng)

109-21 (109), 58-67, 65-70 (65 Stevens), 47-83 (70), 89-0 (89), 62-45, 55-43, 2-85, 113-0 (113), 18-54, 26-105 (67), 57-43, 5-66, 0-125 (125), 1-85, 41-82, 73-37 (58), 91-0 (53), 80-42 (64), 77-0 (73), 0-81, 24-106 (99), 58-50, 61-31, 63-50

Matthew Stevens
"I managed to hold myself together"




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