Snooker: Imperious Hendry on march: Holder warms to Crucible

A TOKEN to cling on to for the rest at the Embassy World Championships 12 months ago was Stephen Hendry short of his finest form. He still won, of course, but there was just a glimmer of hope in the early rounds. This time he is not offering even that hint of vulnerability.

In his first-round match he swept Danny Fowler aside 10-1 and last night opened a 6-2 lead over Darren Morgan. He requires only seven of today's 17 frames to reach the quarter- finals. Morgan, the 16th seed, looks in need of a near miracle.

A fortnight ago Hendry was fast approaching The Crucible without a tournament win to his name since he beat Jimmy White in the world championship final last May. His concentration, by his admission, was wayward and his safety play poor. Since then he has won the International Open, potting a record 10 centuries in the process, and showed ominous prowess here.

He came out of his corner last night with a break of 54, setting the sedentary theme for his opponent. Morgan won the second frame and then was rooted to his seat as the top seed added further breaks of 55, 84, 50 plus several 30s.

If Hendry had been having problems taking his practice form on to the tournament table, then Willie Thorne could empathise. It sums up the man that he has made 146 maximums in his career, a mammoth total, and has still to get beyond the quarter-finals here.

The opening session of his second- round match with the 1991 champion and No 2 seed, John Parrott, was a case in point. Thorne did not trail in the session and yet left The Crucible yesterday tied at 4-4. He had played well but another chance not been fully seized it seemed.

His management believe that only the lack of a win over one of the better players is holding him down from the heights which saw him win four tournaments in the 1980s.

Martin Clark took his opportunity slowly. He beat Karl Payne 10-6 but it was tortuous progress at times as the play was heavily laced with safety. By the end the audience was exhausted, never mind the players.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Payable Clerk

£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Manager

£55,000 - £65,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accountant with ...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

£45,000 - £55,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified accountant...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor