Loss leaves Stevens in need of lucky break

Matthew Stevens' future in the Champions' Cup hangs in the balance after becoming Ronnie O'Sullivan's third victim of the week. O'Sullivan completed his matches in Group B with a 5-2 win over the Benson and Hedges Masters champion and Embassy world finalist here yesterday.

Matthew Stevens' future in the Champions' Cup hangs in the balance after becoming Ronnie O'Sullivan's third victim of the week. O'Sullivan completed his matches in Group B with a 5-2 win over the Benson and Hedges Masters champion and Embassy world finalist here yesterday.

It leaves the Welshman requiring a good turn from Jimmy White today when he meets the world No 2, John Higgins, in the final game of the section.

Meanwhile, O'Sullivan looks forward to a semi-final with either Mark Williams or Stephen Hendry. "I've enjoyed all three games for different reasons," said O'Sullivan, who beat Higgins 5-4 and White 5-2. "It didn't matter which group I was in because they're all top players. I got a couple of kicks early on but you have to take things like that on the chin."

Breaks of 58 and 60 enabled Stevens to take a 2-1 lead. The pivotal moment came in frame six, with Stevens poised to level at 3-3 after O'Sullivan had knocked in runs of 40 and 70. A potentially frame-winning clearance ended on 63 when he missed the green.

Ken Doherty ended his campaign on a high note with a comeback win over Stephen Lee. Doherty looked to be heading for the wooden spoon in Group A when he trailed the world No 5, 3-1. Despite being blitzed by breaks of 92, 89 and 102, the former world champion recovered to a 5-3 win. Lee missed the chance of a maximum break in frame three after taking 12 reds and 11 blacks.

"It's disappointing to be going home so soon because I'm hitting the ball sweetly," Doherty said.

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