McManus fights back from brink

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The Independent Online
Alan McManus, the world No 6, yesterday fought back from the brink of a first-round defeat at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, to beat his fellow Scot Billy Snaddon 10-9 in the deciding frame and reach the last 16 of the Embassy World Championship.

When he trailed 8-4 and 9-8 there appeared no way back for the 26-year- old Glaswegian. In a game lasting seven hours and seven minutes, McManus was never in front until he potted the opening red of the deciding 19th frame. He went on to add a vital run of 34 and later fluked the final brown to leave Snaddon requiring snookers.

Snaddon will be kicking himself for letting McManus escape. He began the match on Monday with a break of 131 during an early 3-0 lead. He finished the first session 5-3 up and continued to improve early on yesterday.

Two frames turned the match in McManus's favour. A clearance of 65 from 58-0 down enabled him to win frame 13 and he just managed to take the 14th when Snaddon, clearing up, potted the yellow only to see the cue ball go in-off. McManus later missed the pink, but so too did Snaddon, and by eventually securing the frame 70-49 he was back in contention.

Snaddon was to win only one more frame, the 17th, before nerves and McManus's relentless pressure finally finished him.