Williams holds his nerve to claim title

Mark Williams captured his first title of the season yesterday but only after a struggle against his fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens in the final of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship in Bournemouth.

Mark Williams captured his first title of the season yesterday but only after a struggle against his fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens in the final of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship in Bournemouth.

Having led 6-3 after the first session, Williams, the slight favourite before the match, never looked comfortably in control of the game. He regularly failed to stamp his authority on proceedings with any sizeable breaks as Stevens potted his way back into contention.

Stevens took the opening three frames of the evening session helped by a break of 110 in frame 12. After doing the hard work though Stevens then slipped behind again. He lost the 13th frame on the black after Williams trapped him in a tight snooker behind the brown having earlier been 63-25 behind.

Williams took the next two frames to go 9-6 up before his countryman again responded. Stevens made breaks of 76 and 71 to leave him one behind but with two frames available in which to steal the title.

After a cagey start to the 18th frame, Williams built a 27-1 advantage but let in Stevens, who seemed set to force a final, deciding frame. However, he missed the black after sinking the last red, leaving Williams to pot the colours for the crown.

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