Hawkins takes honours in Goldfields Open

Barry Hawkins has won his first world ranking event final after beating Peter Ebdon in the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

Hawkins defeated Ebdon 9-3 in the best of 17 frames final at Bendigo Stadium.

Full story in tomorrow's Bendigo Advertiser.

EARLIER

Barry Hawkins has shown little sign of nerves in taking a 5-3 lead against Peter Ebdon at the interval of the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open final.

Playing in his first world ranking event final, Hawkins conceded the opening frame to his more experienced English compatriot, but then notched two century breaks and a couple of 50-plus breaks to win the next four frames in rapid time.

Ebdon scored just eight points in frames two to five, while Hawkins piled-on 394 points - with a highest break of 114 and a 106 - in a scintillating potting display.

Ebdon's experience began to tell, though, as he slowed the game down with his more tactical approach and won two of the next three frames.

The nine-time ranking event champion achieved his highest break of the match so far - a 63 - to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

The seventh frame was a strategic battle, with both players making several small breaks before Hawkins came from 13-43 behind to win it 72-46 - extending his lead to 5-2.

But Ebdon responded to gain some crucial momentum at the break.

A break of 46 proved decisive in the eighth frame, as Ebdon reduced the margin to two frames in the best of 17 frames match.

The winner of the final will receive $70,000 in prizemoney, while the runner-up will pocket $30,000.

EARLIER

PETER Ebdon and Barry Hawkins will fight for glory in today's Australian Snooker Goldfields Open final.

The Englishmen will start their best-of-17-frames clash at 2pm at Bendigo Stadium.

Eight frames will be played in the afternoon sessions, while the remaining frames will start at 7.30pm.

Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, will be gunning for his 10th career ranking event victory after disposing of Hong Kong star Marco Fu 6-2 in yesterday's semi-final.

On a fast, re-clothed table, neither player made regular high breaks, but Ebdon's safety play proved too much for Fu to handle and that gave him the edge.

"Obviously there are no easy games and Marco is a world-class player," said Ebdon, who won his ninth world ranking title at the China Open in April.

"He probably played as well as anybody in the tournament prior to today and, to be perfectly honest, I think he struggled to get used to the new cloth, the speed of the cloth."

Ebdon will face countryman Hawkins, who enjoyed a relatively hard-fought 6-4 win against Mark Davis last night.

Hawkins will be gunning for his first ranking event victory.

"I feel a bit numb at the moment," said Hawkins.

"I feel like my head's spinning, but it feels quite good to be in a final, I think.

"I haven't had time to let it sink in yet but I'm just pleased about the way I played.

"Hopefully I can save the best until last and win it."

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