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Snooker: A vacuum at the Hexagon before Taylor stages a clean sweep

Baize watch: Hexagon helpers set the tables for the start of the Rothmans Grand Prix snooker tournament in Reading yesterday. Dennis Taylor, the former world champion now ranked 11, defeated his fellow Ulsterman Dermot McGlinchey 5-1 before saying: 'This is my favourite venue; I've got special memories of the place.' His victory in the inaugural tournament in 1984 was his first major title, and he reached the final twice in the next three years. Billy Snaddon, the practice partner of world No 1 Stephen Hendry, recovered from a 3-1 interval deficit to overcome the experienced South African Silvino Francisco 5-4 on the final black.

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