SNOOKER: Hendry beaten after black blunder

STEPHEN HENDRY saw his hopes of winning the Grand Prix title in Preston disappear in a surprising defeat last night at the hands of Dave Harold.

The six times world champion became yet another big name victim at a tournament which has proved a graveyard for the game's leading lights when he was edged out 5-4 by Harold.

"I struggled all night and couldn't get going," said Hendry, who has now lost four of his nine encounters with Harold, even though the Stoke player has won only one trophy in seven years as a professional came - the 1993 Asian Open in Bangkok.

Despite a string of early errors - particularly in the long potting department - Hendry looked to have weathered the storm when he established a 4-3 lead. But Harold, who beat him at the corresponding stage of the 1994 Grand Prix in Derby, refused to surrender.

His 58 break to start the eighth frame guaranteed a 4-4 scoreline before Hendry committed a glaring blunder in the decider, which will haunt him for some time. Having forced a safety misjudgement from Harold, Hendry scored only eight points before stunning the crowd by missing a bread and butter black from short range. Harold kept his nerve under growing tension to construct a 63 break and Hendry could not repair the damage.

The disgusted Scot, who had been attempting to win the event for a record fifth time, said: "Until I stop that kind of miss I won't be winning any more titles. It's really frustrating because in the last frame I couldn't have wished for the balls to be in a better position. What I did was absolutely pathetic."

After outlasting Hendry in the 3hr 29min marathon, Harold's reward is a semi-final against Stephen Lee, who is the only member of the game's elite top 16 to qualify for the semi-finals.

Harold said: "I felt really nervous towards the end and I honestly didn't fancy potting a single ball in the final frame. To beat Stephen in anything, anywhere, is a great feeling and to do it in an important tournament like this makes it even better."

In the other semi-final, Marco Fu, the sensation from Hong Kong, will take on the methodical Scot Chris Small, who beat fellow countryman Jamie Burnett 5-3 during the afternoon.

The dour 25-year-old from Edinburgh coped admirably with the tension of an important match against Burnett, with the exception of one glaring blunder. After snatching two scrappy frames on the blue and two others much more convincingly with breaks of 97 and 65, Small led 4-2. Ahead 18-0 in the seventh frame, though, and with the reds invitingly spread for a match-clinching break, Small left a straightforward black off the spot in the jaws of a pocket.

Burnett took advantage by constructing a 48 break to reduce his arrears to 4-3, but Small committed no such mistakes in frame seven and, with a late contribution of 45, he eased his passage into the last four.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back