Peter Ebdon’s dramatic capture of the China Open title in Beijing today was reminiscent of those of Doug Mountjoy at the 1988 UK Championship and Jimmy White at the 2004 Players Championship.

Like Mountjoy and White at the time of their respective triumphs, Ebdon is in his 40s, dropping down the rankings and apparently on the wane.

He had done nothing all season to suggest he could win this title, failing to advance beyond a last 32 of any of the other major tournaments.

The first session was a grind despite Ebdon making two centuries. Only six of the scheduled nine frames were played and the last of these was touch and go for a while.

The reason for the pull-off was to “give the players a break” but it strikes me that if they wanted a break they should have played more quickly.

The third session of the famous 1985 world final ended at 6.20pm. The final session began at 7pm and ended just after midnight. Imagine what time it would have finished with two extra frames to play. Would the fabled 18.5 million still have been tuned in at 1.30am?

Not that this was the fault of Maguire. Ebdon knocked him out of his rhythm early on although Maguire’s discipline at the table did not waver in the opening session.

He staged a terrific comeback in the evening and started to score more heavily but just when Ebdon looked like he’d burned out, he got it together again.

The decider wasn’t particularly pretty but Ebdon, to his credit, held his nerve to get over the winning line.

It’s his ninth ranking title and his first since he surprisingly won this tournament three years ago.

He sets a new record for the longest gap between winning his first and most recent ranking title.

This was a very different form of snooker to the swift, punch and counter punch heavy scoring of the UK Championship final.

But snooker’s strength lies in its capacity to deliver a variety of matches, performances and styles.

Today’s final wouldn’t have been to everyone’s taste but many others would have loved the slow burning drama of it all.

Ebdon today recorded his 300th competitive century, only the fifth player to achieve this feat.

It capped a remarkable week for him in which he has beaten five top 16 players and unexpectedly returned to the game’s winners’ circle.

He is in many ways an eccentric character and lacks the flair of some other top players. But, my word, what a trier and what a performer under pressure.


Anonymous said...

I'm pleased to see both of them back to their best. As for the style of play, variety is the spice of life. Ebdon will get slagged off on here but I find him the most fascinating player around.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure people will say "boring" but how can a match that included a comeback like that be described as such?


Hi David. Slow in parts. A better quaity final session. Well done Ebdon. Unlucky Maguire. A great final, in my view.


Hi David. Ebdon's 300th competative century in professional tournament play thown in aswell today. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I bet Barry Hearn is buzzing his tits off thinking of Ebdon in the premier league.

147 said...

Im not a fan of Ebdon but fairplay to him on his victory .You have to admire his will to win.

Anonymous said...

Listen, and understand. That Ebdonator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are beaten.

Anonymous said...

He maybe slow, but a player who scored 300 tons in his career might surprise lots of you even under the pressure of a shot clock at premier league...

Sparky said...

Everybody is talking about "Ebdon in the Premier League".

Which is great for the PL, because everybody will check it out and see how he's doing.

It won't ruin the league, but make it more interesting, to see how an Ebdonish player will cope with the shot clock!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first anonymous poster -Ebdon is an amazing player, one of my top favourites. He has an eccentricity of shot and even of styles that puts him apart from the "samey" players on the rest of the tour

jamie brannon said...

I knew Dave or someone would get a mention in of Ebdon taking O'Sullivan's record of longest span between first and most recent ranking event!

It is funny how it was never mentioned when O'Sullivan broke it!

When Ebdon burst onto the scene, with ponytail, he was a much more attacking, speedier player. However, he has morphed into the sports ultimate grinder.

It is these qualities that always made him a more likely bet than Hendry to win a ranking event in his forties.

I'm pleased that Dave mentioned how many centuries Ebdon has made, as sometimes you can forget just how good a scorer he is.

In terms of his place in the snooker pantheon, Ebdon would be just short of being an all-time great, but above the likes of Ken Doherty, John Parrott and Shaun Murphy.

Dave H said...

It wasn't O'Sullivan's record: it was Jimmy White's

Anonymous said...

jamie brannon said...
I knew Dave or someone would get a mention in of Ebdon taking O'Sullivan's record of longest span between first and most recent ranking event!

It is funny how it was never mentioned when O'Sullivan broke it!

1:24 PM
wrong again jamie.

best you just post ronnie ronnie ronnie on every subject. would make as much sense as usuall and youd not get things wrong.


Anonymous said...

I think this is what they call a pyrrhic victory!

"A victory gained at too great a cost."

I'm sure Peter Ebdon would give this title up if he could trade it with winning this month's World Championship tournament. I suspect he may have peaked too soon but all credit to him for his amazing and unexpected win.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but you are forgetting that in Jamie's world, Ronnie's 18 years and 2 months counts as 19 years (because it starts in 1993 and ends in 2012) whereas Jimmy's 18 years and 3 months only counts as 18 years (because it starts in 1986 and ends in 2004). Keep up David!

Anonymous said...

If "grinding" snooker is widely popular with snooker fans then I look forward to a dedicated tournament "Snooker's Top Grinders". Usual rules plus a guaranteed average frame time in excess of an hour, minimum time between shots 2 minutes, players must go to the washroom every 20 minutes irrespective of where they are in the frame. I have a small garage I could hire out as a venue.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'm slightly bemused at Jamie's casual denigration of John Parrott's achievements. Parrott has pretty much the same record as Ebdon (9 rankers including a WC and UK) and he did it during peak Davis and peak Hendry eras. While there may have been a few easier rounds back in the earlier 90s, I think it was probably just as tough to win a tournament, given who you had to get by to actually win one.

Anonymous said...

Ebdon won't have any problem with the shot clock .
Don't you understand he plays slow because he knows it makes it a lot more difficult for his opponent to play well against a slow player . I have heard him admit as much . Fair play to him , if he can get away with it he will continue to play at a deliberately slow pace.

Anonymous said...

i think u heard what u wanted to hear

kimball said...

A game can be tactical and full of defensive situations and yes, I am glad for Ebdon a fantastic performance digging deeply, but it can't be helped that one feels that may be, there should be some kind of timelimit like in chess.Ebdon outthinks everybody in the game, a lot of viewers are switching of there
tellys saying - "I like snooker but I don't have time to watch Ebdon!"
If there were stats for waisting time pretending to think, Ebdon leeds by hours with Selby, nowadays a poor second.

jamie brannon said...

I hadn't taken into account White to be honest, though I'm guessing Dave and others weren't aware of it at the time as thought I'd have been corrected then.

I reckon a number of players will take heart from seeing Ebdon win a ranking event in his forties. Those in their mid-thirties will believe they've got a few more years of adding to their portfolio of victories.

How many players have won a ranking event in their forties?

I don't see why putting Ebdon above Parrott in an all-time list is perceived as a denigration of Parrott.

It is only a marginal call, but just fell Ebdon's game is stronger. He is a better scorer and safety player, and to be winning ranking events over such a long time is testament to his standing. Parrott declined a little too soon for my liking.

Anonymous said...

You were corrected Jamie, several times on the "O'Sullivan's Berlin Triumph" post:

Jamie: O'Sullivan has set a new record in winning the German Masters: it's the longest span of success for a player in terms of his first ranking event win and his most recent.

Witz: Jamie Brannon, by my reckoning Ronnie (18 yrs 2 mths) may have overtaken Hendrys span (17 yrs 4mths) between 1st ranking title and most recent, but hes still a month short of the 18yrs 3mths between Jimmys 86 classic and 04 players championship wins.

Jamie: It is nineteen years.

Witz: it aint 19 years Jamie, its 18yrs and 2 mths.

Jamie: It is not nineteen years to the exact date, but if you subtract 2012 from 1993 you get 19. It is a record most importantly.

Gerard: Jamie .. please, this is just getting silly now (as if it wasn't)! Read the first lines of Witz's 11.42 post and please learn to count. And then admit that you are wrong, there's nothing wront with that.

Anonymous said...


well remembered 537

jamie obviously "forgot" that series of events (or hoped we would)

looks like a member of the ronnie police has egg on face again.