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 Monday, 16 December, 2002, 05:46 GMT
Williams clinches title thriller
Mark Williams edged out Ken Doherty
Williams recovered from letting slip a two-frame lead

Mark Williams claimed the UK Championship and the 84,000 first prize with a thrilling last-frame victory over Ken Doherty in a tense final at the Barbican.

The lead changed hands several times throughout, but neither player was more than a frame down until late on.


Williams made the decisive move to go 9-7 up with breaks of 74 and 78, but Doherty did not throw in the towel.

I felt good going into the decider as long as I got a chance

Mark Williams
He hit a 79 as he took the next two frames but a mistake in decider let Williams in for a 70 - and the title.

Mark Williams was jubilant after his title triumph ended his 26-month wait for a tournament win on home soil.

The Welshman, who collected his second UK success, said: "I've had a couple of poor seasons by my own standards and it's nice to win this event again.

"I'm over the moon. It was an excellent pressure break in the final frame.

"I felt good going into the decider as long as I got a chance. Ken got in first but when I got my opportunity I was lucky enough to take it."

Williams also thanked fellow Welshman Terry Griffiths.

The former world champion has been coached by Griffiths for the past two months.

"If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have won that final frame.

"I kept a clear head throughout and that was mostly down to Terry and the way that he has been helping me along.

"I took a chance and went to see him and my form has been 100% better since - I intend to keep working with him. "

Ken Doherty was left to rue what might have been after losing for the third time in the final of this tournament.

The Dubliner said: "I had a good chance in the last frame and that's what disappoints me. I just mis-judged a safety shot and that's what's cost me the match.

"It was a pulsating final, swaying to and fro. There was a lot of tension and pressure out there.

"It was a great match to play in - there was a great atmosphere - but it's just disappointing to lose."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Clive Everton
"This was an engrossing final"
 New champion Mark Williams
"I must be doing something right"
 Ken Doherty
"It was a great final"

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