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Byline: Tony Woolway

WELSH snooker ace Mark Williams is threatening to sue airline baggage handlers after his cue was damaged.

When Williams arrived in Dublin last month for the Irish Masters, he discovered his cue case had been smashed. He had used the cue to win the World Championship in 2000, and to win two more titles this year.

"You had to see it to believe it," said Williams, who is due to play Joe Swail for a place in the last eight of the Regal Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

"The cue was 'S' shaped and I did well to win two matches because it's hard enough playing with a straight cue. But I knew I was going to get thrashed by Paul Hunter. I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want it to sound like excuses.

"When I got home I took it to a cue doctor, Trevor White, in Bridgend. He usually puts new tips on for me. But this was a lot more serious. He couldn't believe it hadn't snapped.

"The joint was completely knackered but he's managed to take the bends out the best he can. He did an excellent job but it's been at the back of my mind how I would play. It's not the kind of thing you want to happen just before the World Championship. Hopefully I've got enough time to get used to it before I get to Sheffield." Williams said his manager Ian Doyle would pursue a claim for compensation against budget airline carrier Ryanair.

"If he doesn't, then I will," added the 28-year-old lefthander.

"Trevor took all the measurements of the cue so he could make me a replica just in case. But there's no way I could get used to a new cue so soon before the World Championships." Nobody from Ryanair or its Dublin-based public relations company, Murrays, was available to comment on Williams' claim yesterday.

The provisional world number one from Cwm protected a remarkable five-year unbeaten record in Edinburgh on Wednesday night but then revealed how the climax to his season was almost wrecked by the freak accident.

After recent traumas with his cue, Williams said relieved to be in contention for his third title of the season.

Mark Williams later decided to drop the claim
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 11, 2009
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