Snooker: McManus humbles Hendry

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The Independent Online
ALAN McMANUS last night beat his fellow Scot, the world champion Stephen Hendry, for the second time in a fortnight to advance to the semi-finals of the World Matchplay Championship in Doncaster. The 21-year-old Glaswegian's 9-6 victory extends an impressive run that has enabled him to reach four semi-final rounds this season.

McManus had gone ahead in the early session and went into the interval with a 6-2 lead. Hendry, however, then gave signs that a great escape was in the offing, and breaks of 72, 58, 63, and a 105 clearance in the 12th frame drew the deficit back to 7-6. He came no closer, as McManus compiled runs of 52 and 54 to win the match.

'If I play as well as I did against Stephen, there's no reason why I can't go on to win,' McManus, who will play James Wattana tomorrow, said. 'But there are three other guys left in the tournament who feel the same way.

'It's great to beat Stephen again although he's not playing as well as he can do.' Hendry agreed: 'My killer instinct is not 100 per cent at the moment though I still badly want to win tournaments. I've just got to keep persevering because this bad run can't go on for ever.'

While McManus prepares for the meeting with Wattana, Hendry is going on holiday to reflect on his latest set-back. He said: 'I wouldn't be human if I said all these defeats haven't dented my confidence.' Hendry won nine titles last season but he is still searching for his first this term after seven failures.

In today's semi-final, Steve Davis plays Martin Clark.

WORLD MATCHPLAY Quarter-final (Doncaster): A McManus (Scot) bt S Hendry (Scot) 9-6.