O'Sullivan takes UK Championship


Ronnie O'sullivan won his second UK Championship in Preston last night with a 106 victory over world number one Stephen Hendry. The 21year-old from Chigwell won the first five frames of the evening session to lead 9-5 and although Hendry then pulled one back, O'Sullivan captured the £75,000 first prize with a break of 70. O'Sullivan also won the tournament in 1993 - the last occasion when five times champion Hendry failed to take the title.

It is the fourth successive final Hendry has lost this year, and the Scot is still seeking an outright record of 29 ranking tournament victories to eclipse the total of 28 he shares with Steve Davis.

It was an early birthday present for O'Sullivan, who will be 22 on Friday. He was the youngest UK champion at the age of 17 in 1993.

O'Sullivan allowed Hendry only 23 points when he won the evening's first five frames, in four of which the Scot did not score a point.

O'Sullivan had to settle for a highest break of 98 but made the most of his visits to the table to compile runs of 34, 89, 40 and 54.

The rout could not last and Hendry started a seemingly impossible mission by convincingly winning the 15th frame 80-1.

O'Sullivan threw away an 84 lead against Steve Davis in the final of the Benson and Hedges Masters at Wembley earlier this year, losing 10-8.

But he was not as careless this time and his final telling contribution, which ended only when he missed a tricky long red along the cushion to a baulk pocket, gave O'Sullivan the championship.