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Snooker: Stevens rallies to end White's title dream

Jimmy White's final match of the year will not be the final of the UK Championship tomorrow. The 41-year-old Londoner can put away his cue until the New Year after losing 9-7 to Matthew Stevens in the semi-finals at York's Barbican Centre last night.

In contrast, Stevens goes forward to meet Ronnie O'Sullivan or Stephen Hendry in his first final since losing to Mark Williams in the 2000 world championship.

White threatened to keep his fairytale run going when he hit back from 4-1 down to lead 7-6. However, the world No 9 Stevens held his nerve to deny the Whirlwind a shot at his first trophy since the 1992 UK Championship.

White admitted it had been a below par performance though both players struggled in a match lacking in century breaks. "I just could not get hold of the cueball. It was driving me nuts," said White who missed out on his first final since the 2000 British Open at Plymouth.

"I was all over the gaff even with the few breaks I was making. The first session was diabolical and I'm disappointed having not played anywhere near like I have been doing."