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Snooker: Dott's up for dash to last eight place.

Byline: By Neil Goulding

GRAEME DOTT, Scotland's only survivor in the World Snooker Championship, is three frames from a quarter-final place.

The 28-year-old Glaswegian, runner-up two years ago, resumed 5-3 ahead against Nigel Bond yesterday and stretched his lead to 10-6 ahead of this afternoon's final session.

Bond dumped Stephen Hendry in the first round but while he ran up breaks of 96 and 51, a string of mistakes allowed Dott in to make decisive clearances.

It was anything but a scintillating display from the 14th seed but he made the most of his opportunities to win three straight frames from 7-6 up.

Matthew Stevens potted the final black of the night to tie Ken Doherty 8-8 going into today's decider.

Doherty, the 1997 champion, came out firing and led 7-4 before the Welshman recovered to make it 7-7, the highest break a mere 63 as both players struggled to produce their best form.

Frame 15 went to Doherty, who looked like holding an overnight lead when 24 points clear with one red left in the last of the session.

But Stevens matched his points tally by potting the pink and after a safety exchange on the black, Doherty missed completely when attempting a fine snick and handed the frame to his opponent.

Two-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is locked at 4-4 with Welsh qualifier Ryan Day.

The world No.1 eased into a 2-0 lead before Day rallied to edge 3-2 ahead. O'Sullivan blasted back with the highest break of the tournament so far - a 140 - only for Day to knock in a 68 to lead 4-3. But breaks of 40 and 65 saw the Rocket square it.

Meanwhile, Shaun Murphy aimed a potshot at snooker's moaners after taking a giant stride towards keeping his world crown with a 13-7 win over Steve Davis.

A string of stars have hit out over the pace of the tables but Murphy said: "It's the same for everyone and I'm amazed at what has been said about the cloth by other players.

"Surely they can adapt to the conditions. You can't expect a table to play the same at every event."

CAPTION(S):

IN CHARGE: Graeme Dott
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 24, 2006
Words:364
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