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  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 16:37 GMT
Ebdon wins Crucible thriller
Ebdon won a thrilling Embassy final
Ebdon gained revenge on Hendry for the 1996 defeat

(5) Stephen Hendry (Sco) 17-18 (7) Peter Ebdon (Eng)



Peter Ebdon beat Stephen Hendry in a thrilling final-frame finish to win his first World Snooker Championship crown.

Ebdon looked certain to sew up the title in the 34th frame but a straight black missed into the bottom left when 52-27 up gave Hendry the opportunity to ensure the contest went down to the wire.

With the scores at 17-17, both players missed chances, scattering the balls, before Hendry made seven.

Ebdon then came to the table and compiled a measured 59 before he missed a cushion-hugging red into the bottom right.

Hendry was then unfortunate to go in-off when trying to play safe, and that gave Ebdon another shot at victory.

The 31-year-old did not make the same mistake as in the previous frame, for a well deserved Crucible victory.

A Crucible thriller

Many predicted that the contest would be a tight affair.

The first session ended 4-4, the second 10-6 in favour of Ebdon, and the third 12-12.

Hendry in that period recorded his 15th and 16th centuries of the tournament, and in doing so broke John Higgins' 1998 championship record by two.

But by the time the fourth and final session got under way, statistics meant little.

Hendry held the upper hand in the match for the first time when he moved 14-12 ahead after breaks of 63, 55 and 38.

But Ebdon took full advantage of Hendry's failed safety to rattle his ninth century of the championship - 103 - and a record 67th in total by all players.

In the 28th frame Hendry missed a relatively simple red to allow Ebdon to go on and level the scores at 14-14.

Thrilling finish

A 58 from Hendry was enough to swing the match back in his favour, only for Ebdon to forge ahead once more with a 73 and 111.

The next two frames were shared with Ebdon knocking in an 85 break, but the Welingborough player missed his chance of victory with that black off the spot and Hendry set up the thrilling climax.

Memories of Steve Davis v Dennis Taylor in 1985 and Hendry v Jimmy White in 1994 came flooding back.

And it seemed as if Hendry would capitalise on Ebdon's error in the previous frame to win his eighth title and his second final-frame finish.

But there was to be no joy for the Scotsman, as Ebdon came out on top in the tense final frame.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Clive Everton
"Ebdon settled after a nervy start to the decider"
Peter Ebdon
"I've worked very, very hard at my game"
Stephen Hendry
"I deserved to lose"

Embassy final

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06 May 02 | Photo Galleries
Links to more World Champs 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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