Snooker: Determined Doherty maintains pressure

KEN DOHERTY, the 1997 champion and last year's runner-up, recovered from a 10-6 deficit going into his final session against the 1995 runner- up, Nigel Bond, before his gritty 13-11 win gave him a place in the quarter- finals of the Embassy World Championship.

Bond, seeking to redeem a season which has yielded neither a single world- ranking quarter-final nor a century break, led 50-0 in their first frame of the day and had two chances to clinch it. But, lacking the confidence born of regular success, lost it on the black.

Doherty added the second more comfortably and the third on a tie-break black after Bond had missed a routine frame-ball green for 11-8.

Clearly feeling the pressure, Bond just got home on the pink to lead 11-9 but Doherty finished strongly, making breaks of 79 and 66 to level and allowing Bond to total only 14 points in the remaining two frames.

"Something came back to me that was missing from the first two sessions," said Doherty. "If I hadn't had the experience of being champion two years ago I don't think I would have won.

"Lifting that trophy gives you phenomenal confidence. It makes you want to fight and be determined to try and achieve it again."

John Higgins, whose 8-0 whitewash of Mark King on Thursday evening had pointed to victory with a morning to spare, had to put in a brief appearance yesterday to make an 80 break and complete the 13-4 win which carried him into the quarter-finals.

John Parrott's 11th Crucible quarter-final opponent will be either the unpredictable Ronnie O'Sullivan or Joe Perry, the world No 74 from Wisbech, whose 55 clearance to beat Steve Davis 10-9 on the final black was the most dramatic moment of the opening week. O'Sullivan made a break of 100 but was otherwise struggling to find his higher gears as he took the 5-3 lead with which he resumes this afternoon.

Parrott knew what to expect from Chris Small, the tall, meticulous Scot whom he beat 13-12 on Friday night. "If you've got a ticket, change it for another match," he said. Slow as the Thorburnesque Small was, it was still engrossing. A win for Small would have put him in the top 16 for the first time and he looked capable of it at 10-9, 54-0. "The 20th frame was massive," said Parrott, reflecting on a 74 for 10-10. He went two up but an hour later Small completed a 131 clearance to level at 12-12. "He's a human limpet. He just won't let go," said Parrott after a cool 68 took the decider.

Matthew Stevens, the 21-year-old Welshman who reached last year's quarter- finals, did so again by beating the volatile Maltese Tony Drago 13-8. Notwithstanding a hat-trick of wins over Stephen Hendry, Drago has had such a poor season that he will not be in the elite top 16 in the end of campaign.

Of all the top players, there is more difference between his best and his worst but two dashing centuries, 108 and 137 gave him two of the morning's first three frames as he attacked his 6-2 overnight deficit.

At 5-7 and 6-8 he was only two behind and managed to limit his arrears at lunch to only 9-7 by responding to Stevens' 62 with a stirring 63 clearance to win on the black.

In the evening, though, he was too inconsistent to narrow this gap. Stevens, who has the flair, fluency and cue power of a potential champion, finished in style with a clearance of 124 and will play either Hendry or James Wattana, Asia's No 1, for a place in the semi-finals.

England's Nick Walker shared the opening eight frames of his second-round match with Wales's Mark Williams. Walker could have gone into today's second session leading if he had not missed a blue in frame three.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power