Snooker: Ebdon reins in Doherty's challenge

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The Independent Online
PETER EBDON captured the first major title of his career last night when he overcame another of the sport's rising players, Ken Doherty, 9-6 in the final of the Skoda Grand Prix at Reading.

Doherty made a promising start, winning the first two frames, but Ebdon gained the upper hand when he took a 42-minute 11th frame and then fluked a red to lead 7-6. The 23- year-old cruised through the next frame on the back of a 61 break and wrapped up the match in the 15th.

'Ken threw everything at me early on but my resolve was good,' Ebdon said. 'Towards the end I just clicked in and I felt totally calm and at ease with myself. I've got an inner belief in my own ability. The better Ken played the stronger I got.'

The turning point came as early as the third frame when Doherty, who lost to Jimmy White in last year's final, was well placed to complete a colour clearance to go 3-0 up. However, after potting yellow to blue, the world No 11 surprisingly missed a half-ball cut needing only the pink and Ebdon sank it and a spectacular black. That set a pattern of the Irish champion working himself into promising positions, but not capitalising.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31