Snooker: Ebdon breaks season's duck

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Peter Ebdon breathed a sigh of relief in Preston last night after recording his lfirst victory of the season. He did it in style with a 134 clearance to round off his 9-6 win over the teenager David Gray in the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship.

It was his second century of the contest, although Gray gave him a number of scares after a shocking start when he lost the opening five frames.

Ebdon, a UK finalist in 1995, began this season on a low note by losing his Regal Masters title to Nigel Bond and then suffered an early exit in the Grand Prix when beaten by Jon Birch last month.

"This tournament has been good to me in the past, and I am desperate to have another good run here", said Ebdon, who now plays Jason Prince after the Ulsterman's surprise 9-6 triumph over Dave Harold. Prince, the world no 42, cleared up to win the 15th frame on the black.