Emotional Ebdon sees off Hendry to clinch double UK title for former world champion

PETER Ebdon last night joined the exclusive club of players to have won the Maplin UK Championship as well as the world title.

The 36-year-old won 10-6 at York's Barbican Centre against Scotland's 'Stephen Hendry, the man he also beat to become world champion in 2002.

Eight men have previously triumphed in both of the sport's two most prestigious ranking events, and Ebdon added his name to the list 11 years after losing the UK final 10-3 to Hendry.

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An emotional Ebdon expressed his pride at having followed Steve Davis, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins, Hendry, John Parrott, Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams by capturing the two most coveted crowns.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," he said. "So many great players have won the World Championship and the UK Championship and it means so much to me to join that very select group.

"I worked ever so hard for this tournament and I've had so many tough matches. Mark Selby played incredibly well against me in my first match and made me produce my very best snooker this week.

"The final just went a bit funny and we both started missing balls, but there's a lot of pressure out there. I'm just so proud for everyone back home in Dubai, including my wife and children who were watching on the internet."

Hendry admitted he had been well below par in the final having looked like the player who had dominated the game during the 1990s in his previous matches.

"This was the one day of the week when I didn't want to play like that," said the world No 1. "I had a great chance to pinch a frame to go 4-1 up, but from then on Peter was by far the better player and dominated the match.

"For some reason I couldn't pot a long ball and just struggled. But that's what happens sometimes in snooker - Peter didn't play as well as he can either. We've both had better matches. But you still have to win however you play and he did that, so all credit to him."

Ebdon had made a slow start to the match, and in the first four frames there was none of the superb break-building that had carried him to a 9-7 semi-final win over John Higgins as he struggled to find any fluency. But he struck form after the mid-session interval, finding his rhythm when among the balls and knocking in runs of 66, 83 and 135 - his highest break of the season - to move 4-3 ahead.

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Hendry, seeking a sixth UK title, took the next frame to restore parity, but the Scot was well out of sorts when the contest resumed tonight. The seven-time former world champion lost his accuracy on long pots and made a series of basic errors that looked to be affecting his confidence as he muttered to himself after each miss.

All of the four frames before the interval went to Ebdon and there looked to be no way back for the Scot.

However, the world No 7 is well known for stumbling when in sight of the winning line and Hendry showed he was not done with when he pulled back to 8-6 thanks to a break of 116.

One of Hendry's famous comebacks looked a possibility at that stage, but Ebdon was clearly in no mood to relinquish his grip on the trophy and after winning frame 15, he wrapped it up with a 70.