Snooker

Peter Ebdon battles sleep and Stuart Bingham but gets the better of both

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Peter Ebdon defied sleep deprivation to send world champion Stuart Bingham crashing out of the UK Championship at the last-32 stage.

Ebdon only finished his 6-5 second-round win over Dominic Dale at 1.30am and was back on the table at York's Barbican Centre less than 12 hours later.

But it was Bingham who took time to settle as Ebdon took the opening frame with a 66 break and stormed into a 3-1 interval lead, Bingham with an 88 in frame three.

The Crucible victor pulled one back but Ebdon took a pivotal sixth frame - he had Bingham needing a snooker, gave away a black-ball foul to open it up but pulled through. The next two were shared before Ebdon sealed a 6-3 win with an excellent break of 109.

Ebdon hailed his vegan diet for his ability to keep his energy levels up.

He said: "I've probably had four or five bananas today, I've had some apples, grapes?

"It's massive. I feel as fresh as a daisy. It would have been so easy for me to fold today and I just felt fantastic.

"I'm absolutely over the moon, it's not every day you beat a world champion. Thankfully for me he wasn't on his A-game today and I managed to put him under a little bit of pressure by playing quite well myself."

Bingham said: "He played particularly well today, especially after not coming off until 1.30. He got in first most frames and controlled the tempo of the match.

"I think he's maybe rolled back the years there, especially in that last frame with a nice ton."

John Higgins continued his excellent 2015 form to see off Ali Carter 6-2.

Carter, who revealed afterwards he was struggling badly with the effects of his long-standing Crohn's Disease, made an opening 89 but missed a red in the next to let Higgins in for a good clearance of 52.

Runs of 64 and 77 took Higgins to the interval 3-1 up, an outcome that left him "over the moon", and he stepped up the momentum further with breaks of 57, 59 and 57 in the four frames after the interval.

He said: "Very good win. I could have been 2-0 behind so to be 3-1 in front at the interval, I was over the moon. For him to be 3-1 behind, he would have been gutted."

Higgins has won the Welsh Open, Australian Open and International Championship this calendar year and said: "The last couple of years, really struggling at tournaments, you don't know what's going to be happening but to come back this year and be competing, it's a good feeling again."

He looked forward to a "Tartan Tussle" against Jamie Burnett, a 6-3 winner over Li Hang.

Higgins beat Burnett 6-4 in the last 32 of this tournament two years ago and Burnett said: "It should have gone five each, he needed a snooker and the snooker he got was ridiculous. The amount of frames he wins from 50 or 60 points behind is incredible.

"Right now, he's probably the best player in the world. I think John at his best and Ronnie (O'Sullivan) at his best, it's a toss-up who the greatest player in the world is - and the greatest player ever."

Matthew Selt beat Robbie Williams - the second-round conqueror of world number 10 Joe Perry - 6-3 in the afternoon's other match.

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