Snooker: Even snorer cannot halt Hendry

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The Independent Online
Stephen Hendry moved a step closer to a final against Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship in Preston last night. The rivals qualified for the semi-finals with convincing victories over Alan McManus and Gerard Greene.

Only a loudly snoring spectator interrupted Hendry's progress. About to pot a pink in frame 10, McManus stood up off the shot laughing loudly to himself as a man in the front row snored on oblivious. Eventually, after several minutes, he was woken from his slumbers by another fan and then disappeared into the night.

"It wasn't a great compliment to our game," Hendry said. "It's one of those incidents that happen from time to time and it definitely affected Alan more than it affected me."

Hendry won the 11th frame to make it 8-3 and though McManus recovered his composure to win the next two frames, a break of 74 completed a 9- 5 victory for the holder.

It is now 22 wins in a row at Guild Hall for Hendry, who will face Matthew Stevens over the best of 17 frames today. The Welshman guaranteed himself a career-best pay-day when he completed his cruise into the last four. The 20-year-old, who was 7-1 ahead overnight, beat the Scotsman Martin Dziewialtowski 9-1 to earn at least pounds 19,750.