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.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there