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  Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Lee overcomes stubborn Small
Stephen Lee
Lee was given a tougher than expected challenge
Stephen Lee held off Chris Small's determined challenge to complete a 10-7 first round win in the World Snooker Championship.

Small cut Lee's lead to just one frame at 6-5 after trailing 5-1, but a snooker on the pink in the 13th frame proved to be the turning point.

Lee potted pink and black to win 57-56 and claimed two of the next four frames to seal victory.

Lee, whose preparation for the match was hindered by a fire alarm in his hotel at 0620 BST was just relieved to get through.

"Thank God that Chris gave me a few chances too many," he said.

"He is a very good match player and if he takes his chances he's very hard to beat."


Small suffers from a spinal disease which nearly forced him to quit the game six months ago.

After playing with the aid of a pain-killing injection, he said: "I believe I only played to 50% of my ability."

In another first-round match, Anthony Hamilton clawed his way back from 4-1 down against Dave Harold to lead 5-4.

Harold won the opening three frames with back-to-back breaks of 135 and 101.

The 135 break was the equal highest of the tournament so far, levelling Matthew Stevens's effort.

But Hamilton found his rhythm, reeling off the last four frames of the session to edge in front.

Mark Williams has a 6-3 lead over John Parriott in the battle of the former champions.

Eighth seed Stephen Lee
"It was pleasing to get a lead and sit on it"
BBC Sport's Phil Yates
"Lee battled tenaciously against Small"
Links to more World Champs 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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