Snooker: Doherty's diligence ends Hendry era

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The Independent Online
Stephen Hendry, who has threatened to turn the Embassy World Championship into a case worthy of investigation by the Monopolies Commission, finally succumbed last night when he was beaten 18-12 by Ken Doherty.

The defeat ended the six-times champion's run of 29 successive wins at the Crucible while Doherty becomes the first player from the Republic of Ireland to become world champion. He wins pounds 210,000.

"It was a great, great match," Doherty, who had to withstand Hendry winning five frames in a row to turn a hopeless 15-7 into 15-12, said. "I'm delighted it's over to be honest. My family are wrecks, they'll be having nervous breakdowns. I'm delighted for myself and my country. "

Doherty, 27, had been suffering a poor run coming into the championships but after being accused of being lazy by his manager, Ian Doyle, he practised seven hours a day. The trans- formation was extraordinary.

"I was thinking mostly about my mother," he said. "After winning this I hope she'll be able to come and support me at a tournament. Maybe now she'll shut up about me getting a proper job."

Both players emphasised the importance of the 28th frame. "I missed a red along the back cushion to win the fourth frame of the evening and that was my chance gone," Hendry said. "Of course I'm disappointed. I've just lost the World Championship. Basically he was the better player over two days. Ken played fantastic. He deserved to win."

Will he win the record seventh title? "I have no doubts," he replied. "I'm only 28, I'll be back. I've not gone yet."

Report, page 23