Drago misses chance of 147

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The Independent Online
Tony Drago's attempt to write his name into the record books came unstuck at the Embassy World Championship in Sheffield yesterday. Twice on the receiving end of competitive maximum breaks in the past, Drago had a chance to compile a 147 of his own during the second session of his meeting with Stephen Hendry. But he finished 11-5 down and without the consolation of a cheque for £147,000, the incentive for compiling the break.

Drago sank 11 reds and 11 blacks but slumped on to the table when the 12th red wobbled in the mouth of a top pocket. "In my heart of hearts I knew I probably would not make the maximum," the 29-year-old Maltese said. "The balls were all over the table and it would have needed a miracle. Had they been on, I've no doubt I would have been really nervous."

In a quick-fire session Hendry dropped only two of the eight frames making breaks of 41, 54, 81, 99 and 80. In the 11th frame the four-times world champion took 11 reds and 10 blacks but then covered the next black with a red and he finished on 81. The match resumes this morning.

Ronnie O'Sullivan had earlier also been on target for a maximum, but he missed the 10th red in the third frame and went on to share the opening eight frames against the world No 8, Darren Morgan.

O'Sullivan had totalled just 18 points in the last three frames as the Welshman Morgan pulled level from 4-1 behind with the pair facing another eight frames late last night before concluding this afternoon. Sullivan, the 19-year-old from Chigwell who is the tournament second favourite, knew he could easily have been 6-2 adrift and facing the prospect of going out. He was clearly annoyed at squandering the chance of the £147,000 bonus for the maximum break.

Wellingborough's Peter Ebdon resumed last night with a 10-6 advantage over the Sussex player, Mark Davis. Ebdon began the morning locked at 4-4 but soon took charge after a break of 79 to put him in front at 5- 4 for the first time since the opening frame of the match.

Davis's only successes came in the 11th - at 36 minutes the longest of the match so far - and a low-scoring 15th frame, before Ebdon clinched the 16th frame with runs of 41 and 30.