Ebdon turns on style

SNOOKER

Peter Ebdon showed no ill-effects from a recent bout of bronchitis to head towards the second round of the Embassy World Championship in Sheffield.

Ebdon, who was put on antibiotics after feeling ill during his loss to James Wattana in last week's British Open, pepped up his performance to win eight frames in a row after dropping the first frame to Rod Lawler from Liverpool.

Lawler, the world No 45, looked to have a reasonable shot at pushing Ebdon close, but the 1994 Benson & Hedges Championship finalist faltered after his encouraging start. Ebdon, the Irish Masters champion, levelled at 1-1 with a break of 107.

Although he was unable to score as heavily again, Ebdon managed another half-century in frame three before opening up an 8-1 overnight advantage.

Tony Drago, the holder of three snooker speed records, is heading for another landmark this morning. The 29-year-old Maltese showed no mercy to Paul Cavney, claiming eight of the nine frames against a player ranked 147 places below him in just 112 minutes. If he can quickly add the two frames he requires to reach the second round, he will establish a new best for the fastest finish to a best-of-19 frames match.

Drago already holds the records for fastest frame (three minutes), fastest best-of-nine frames wins (5-0 in 34 minutes) and fastest best-of-17 frames win (9-0 and 81 minutes).

Fighting to ensure automatic qualification for the Crucible next season, Drago was on course for another milestone when 8-0 up. Only Eddie Charlton has been whitewashed 10-0 at the Crucible - by John Parrott, who was making the defence of his world title in 1992.

However, Cavney, who won five matches at Blackpool to qualify for the finals, clinched the last frame of the sesson 88-2 to spare his blushes.

Stephen Hendry gave another Crucible rookie, Stefan Maz-rocis, a tough time in getting the defence of his title off to a flying start. The 26- year-old Scot leads Mazrocis 8-1 after the opening session.

Mazrocis, based in Leicester, discovered it was going to be difficult from the very first frame. Hendry carved out a 90 break to begin his defence in the best possible fashion, and it was soon 2-0 as the champion made a 128 clearance to notch the 283rd century break of his 10-year professional career.

Hendry was in danger of losing the third frame, but took full advantage when his nervous rival missed the last red. A break of 69 then sent him into the mid-session interval 4-0 up in just 72 minutes. Mazrocis was facing a whitewash when Hendry took his tally to six without reply, before he finally broke his duck in frame seven.

The audience reserved their biggest cheer of the morning when a break of 74 enabled Mazrocis to take the frame 92-0, and he should have gone on to reduce the deficit further.

Meanwhile, it was a different story for Ken Doherty, who was involved in a roller-coaster of a match against Mark Davis. The former world amateur champion from Dublin hit back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to lead 4-3, only for Davis, the world number 65, to take the last two frames of the session to move into a 5-4 overnight lead.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Web Developer - Magento

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Greater London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Ric...

SThree: IT Recruitment Consultant

£22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat