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article imageSnooker in China — Ebdon is surprise finalist against Maguire

By Tim Sandle     Mar 31, 2012 in Sports
Beijing - The second snooker ranking event in China this season sees former world champion Peter Ebdon take on Stephen Maguire in a best-of-19 frame match. Both players have neede to win tough matches to get this far.
Former world champion Peter Ebdon emerged as a surprise finalist against Stephen Maguire in the latest snooker ranking tournament, which is taking place in China, according to BBC Sport. The Bank of Beijing China Open. is the second tournament of the season to take place in China.
Peter Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, has fallen on lean times of late and not only has he slipped out of the world's top sixteen players, his place in the top thirty-two was in jeopardy prior to this tournament. However, he has played some impressive and dogged snooker to reach the final.
In his first match Ebdon beat a Chinese player, Lu Haotian by 5 frames to 2. He then beat Matthew Steven 5-3; current world champion John Higgins 5-4, and in his semi-final he defeated the Chinese number 1, Ding Junhui, 6-3.
World Snooker reports that in the semi-final, Ebdon fell 1-3 behind Junhui, but he then won a number of lengthy and closely contested games to win 6-3. Ebdon's highest break was 68.
In contrast to Ebdon's recent form, Stephen Maguire has had a good season and he was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the recent German Open snooker event (which was reported on the Digital Journal). To reach the final, Maguire defeated Barry Hawkins 5-1; Ricky Walden 5-4; Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-4; and, in the semi-final, he beat the in-form player of the season, Stephen Lee, 6-2.
In his semi-final, World Snooker notes, Maguire was held to 2-2 against Lee. He then game out of the mid-session interval and compiled a cracking break of 91 which triggered a four-frame winning streak and a 6-2 victory.
Maguire's win over Ronnie O'Sullivan was the match of the tournament, with Maguire securing victory in the deciding frame on a re-spotted black (as the YouTube video below shows).
Sunday's final will be contested over the best of 19-frames (the first to 10 is the winner). The winner will win £75,000 (around $120,000) and the runner-up will take £30,000 (approximately $48,000).
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