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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 23:18 GMT
Ebdon beats Hendry to join elite
Peter Ebdon holds aloft the Maplin UK Championship trophy
Ebdon proved the stronger player
Peter Ebdon joined an elite band of players to have won both the UK Championship and the world title with a 10-6 win over Stephen Hendry in York.

The pair were locked at 4-4 after their opening session but Ebdon, 36, won the first four frames of the evening.

Hendry, whose form had disintegrated alarmingly, roused himself to close to 8-6 with a stirring break of 116.

But Ebdon, world champion in 2002, held his nerve and runs of 43, and a 70 in the last frame, sealed victory.

In doing so he became only the ninth player - joining Steve Davis, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins, John Parrott, Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan - to win snooker's two most prestigious titles.

"There are so many great players to have won both - it means so much to me to join that select group," Ebdon said.

Peter was by far the better player

Stephen Hendry
"I am just absolutely over the moon. I worked ever so hard for this tournament, and I've had so many tough matches.

"The final just went a bit funny and we both started missing balls, but there's a lot of pressure out there.

"I'm just so proud for everyone back home in Dubai. My wife Deborah and the children were watching at home on the BBC via the internet - this one's for them."

Hendry, chasing a record-equalling sixth UK title, was fortunate to be leading 3-1 early on, but Ebdon hit back with breaks of 60, 83 and a superb clearance of 135 to go 4-3 up.

It should have been 5-3, but Ebdon missed an ambitious attempt at a double to allow Hendry to draw level a the conclusion of the opening session.

Both players appeared nervous on the resumption, Ebdon taking a scrappy frame to go 5-4 up and then winning the next three as Hendry's game deserted him.

The Scot seemed to lose control of his cueing action, muttering to himself and shaking his head in disbelief at a series of missed chances.

Stephen Hendry looks glum after another missed pot
Hendry stuttered at a crucial time
"I picked the one day of the week when I didn't want to play like that," he said afterwards.

"I had a great chance to go 4-1 up but from then on Peter was by far the better player and dominated the match.

"For some reason I couldn't pot a long ball - sometimes that just happens. Peter didn't play as well as he can either. We've both had better matches."

Hendry had won 14 of their previous 18 meetings, and each of Ebdon's four victories - including his 18-17 win in the 2002 world final - had come in final-frame deciders.

Hendry suggested he might make it a similarly tight finish when he won the 13th frame, after several misses, and then showed his class with a break of 116 - his only century of the match - to narrow the gap to 8-6.

But he missed a good early opening in the next, and a run of 43 took Ebdon to the brink of victory.

The Dubai resident made no mistake in the next, a confident break of 70 sealing his seventh ranking tournament victory.

His last came in the Irish Masters in 2004, while Hendry is still chasing his first title since the Malta Cup in February 2005.

"I'm delighted with the way I'm playing - I can only get better," Hendry added.

"It was just a shame I couldn't finish it off today, but my time will come again this season."



SEE ALSO
Ebdon finds his place in the sun
18 Dec 06 |  Snooker
UK Ch'ship final frame scores
15 Dec 06 |  Snooker
Gritty Ebdon wins Higgins battle
15 Dec 06 |  Snooker
Champion Ding defeated by Ebdon
13 Dec 06 |  Snooker
Big names book last-eight places
11 Dec 06 |  Snooker
Dott and Hendry through at York
09 Dec 06 |  Snooker


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