Snooker: O'Sullivan shows resilience against Hendry

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The Independent Online
Stephen Hendry was on target in Preston yesterday afternoon to become the Liverpool Victoria UK champion for a record-equalling sixth occasion. With 10 frames remaining after the first session of the final, Hendry held a 5-4 lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan.

On several occasions Hendry threatened to establish a more substantial advantage, but each time O'Sullivan clung on. Hendry was never behind in an enthralling session watched by the recently elected president of the sport's governing body, Lord Archer. He led 2-0, helped by an opening- frame break of 89, but then made a couple of basic errors, allowing O'Sullivan to level with back-to-back runs of 78.

In the fifth, Hendry produced an inch-perfect break to recover from 44- 7 down to win on the pink. He opened the sixth frame with another run of 67 and that was sufficient to restore his two-frame cushion.

Hendry should have led 5-2 but missed the yellow in the seventh frame and then went in off to compound his mistake. O'Sullivan took the chance to come back, winning the frame with 33.

Hendry's 68 was good enough to make it 5-3 and he led 33-0 in the final frame of the afternoon. But instead of gaining a 6-3 interval scoreline he let in O'Sullivan with a loose safety shot and the Essex player did the rest with a whirlwind 98.