McManus and Bond go into overtime

 

Snooker slowcoaches Alan McManus and Nigel Bond must come back for overtime at the Crucible Theatre tonight after failing to complete their Embassy World Championship first round match on schedule.

Glaswegian McManus is stalled on the verge of victory, leading 1995 world finalist Bond 9-6.

However, Bond has the momentum and he will be disappointed the game could not be completed after finishing what is now the penultimate session of three with the momentum.

McManus, bidding to avoid a hat-trick of first round defeats in Sheffield, began the day with a 5-1 lead after yesterday's funereal first session.

It took more than 90 minutes to play the opening three frames of the morning as world number 30 Bond reduced his arrears to 6-3.

However, the match appeared to be slipping away from the 37-year-old father of two as McManus found some rhythm to claim three frames without reply.

The 11th frame got off to a false start and had to be re-racked after 19 minutes with Bond 30-0 in front. At the second time of asking McManus knocked in a break of 70-his only half century of the match so far-on his way to a 9-3 lead.

On the brink of defeat former British Open champion Bond suddenly relaxed. With nothing to lose he began to pot balls with abandon.

A break of 57 gave him the 13th frame and he followed up with 117 to trail 9-5.

Tournament director Mike Ganley decreed there was time for one further frame but still McManus could not clinch victory.

Bond fired in 65 to get back to 9-6 when time was eventually called by referee Colin Brinded.

The pair must now kick their heels for at least seven hours. The game will not re-start before 9pm and they must hope tonight's matches featuring Ronnie O'Sullivan, Marco Fu, John Higgins and Ian McCulloch are not as tedious.

However, O'Sullivan and Fu will play nine frames whatever happens while there must be a minimum of four played between 1998 world champion Higgins, who leads 6-3 and British Open finalist McCulloch.