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Irish snooker player shocks world number 3 at UK Championship

Limerick’s Leo Fernandez had not won a match in four tournaments since returning from a 15-month ban.

Leo Fernandez on day one of the 2017 Betway UK Champions at the York Barbican.
Leo Fernandez on day one of the 2017 Betway UK Champions at the York Barbican.
Image: Richard Sellers

CHINESE STAR DING Junhui crashed out of the UK Championship in the first round on Tuesday, dropping the last five frames in a shock 6-5 loss to Leo Fernandez.

Ding is a two-time UK Championship winner, but the world number three won’t be adding to that haul this year after his dismal collapse in York.

Fernandez, the world number 130, had not won a match in four tournaments since returning from a 15-month ban after admitting playing a foul shot to facilitate a betting sting in a World Championship qualifier last year.

The 41-year-old Irishman refused to surrender after falling 5-1 down and, with Ding losing his rhythm, Fernandez levelled the match before potting the pink and black to edge a tight deciding frame.

When I was 5-1 down I was thinking about having to get the train home, but I hadn’t played badly,” Fernandez said.

“It’s an amazing feeling to beat a player as good as Ding.”

Elsewhere in the first round, Hong Kong’s Marco Fu beat veteran Nigel Bond 6-2, while Mark King was a 6-0 winner over Boonyarit Keattikun of Thailand.

© – AFP 2017

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