Bedford suffers early exit

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The Independent Online

Simon Bedford, who was just one step away from a Wembley debut 12 months ago, fell at the first hurdle of this year's Benson and Hedges Championship in Malvern. Last year Bedford won seven matches before losing to Ali Carter in the final.

Simon Bedford, who was just one step away from a Wembley debut 12 months ago, fell at the first hurdle of this year's Benson and Hedges Championship in Malvern. Last year Bedford won seven matches before losing to Ali Carter in the final.

However, the Bradford professional suffered a surprise 5-4 exit against his Eastbourne rival Matthew Bray yesterday. Bedford made most of the running and breaks of 35, 31, 70 and 44 took him into a 4-3 lead but the 24-year-old Bray levelled with a run of 61 and then won the decider to earn a third-round meeting with the Ulsterman Jason Prince.

The Glaswegian Evan Munro notched a break of 140 - the highest of the tournament so far - in his 5-1 second-round victory over Nottingham's Steve Judd, a player who denied Ronnie O'Sullivan the English amateur title in 1992.

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