Mark King outlasts Peter Ebdon in Preston epic


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Mark King secured his spot in the main draw of the Riga Masters after squeezing past fellow Englishman Peter Ebdon at the Guildhall in Preston in qualifying.

Both players have been around the scene for almost 30 years now, with the duo turning professional in 1991, and they put on a fantastic show during the qualifying contest.

Ebdon, who won the world championship back in 2002, raced into a 2-0 lead, making a break of 63 in the second frame, before King levelled the score by taking the next two frames.

The duo shared the next two between them to force a decider and the nerves were certainly showing as both players made errors.

In the end it was King who managed to win the best-of-seven match, which lasted over three-and-a-half hours, as it came down to the last black. King will be hoping he can put together a strong challenge for success when the Riga Masters gets underway.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail eased past his qualifying match with a comfortable 4-1 win over Thailand’s Dechawat Poomjaeng, while England’s Stuart Carrington was handed a walkover against compatriot Mitchell Mann.

Englishman Michael Holt produced arguably the best performance in qualifying so far as he swept aside experienced Welshman Matthew Stevens 4-0.

Holt made three breaks over 50 as he stormed to victory and extends his head-to-head record against Stevens to 2-0, having triumphed back in 2011 at PTC 11.

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