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UK Snooker Championship: Joe Swail stays on track for showdown with Mark Allen

By Luke Baker

Joe Swail rolled back the years to hammer Michael Holt 6-1 at the UK Championship in York's Barbican Centre.

Now Swail could be looking at a last 16 clash with fellow Northern Ireland man and close friend Mark Allen, who today faces Martin Gould.

Swail, 46, may be the oldest competitor in the draw but still believes he is a serious threat having hit top form.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get through. I've been practising hard with Mark Allen and working hard on my own and just enjoying my game," said Swail.

"I know at the age of 46 I'm not the youngest competitor in the tournament but age is just a number to me. I'm putting in the quality practice and the most important thing for me is I'm enjoying what I am doing and if you can take that into the arena then you'll reap the benefits.

"It's a pity I could be potentially facing Mark Allen in the next round but that's the way the draw goes and I'm sure he would be wanting to beat me as much as I would be wanting to beat him."

Meanwhile, Peter Ebdon defied sleep deprivation to send world champion Stuart Bingham crashing out.

Ebdon only finished his 6-5 second-round win over Dominic Dale at 1.30am and was back on the table at York's Barbican Centre less than 12 hours later.

But it was Bingham who took time to settle as Ebdon took the opening frame with a 66 break and stormed into a 3-1 interval lead, Bingham with an 88 in frame three.

The Crucible victor pulled one back but Ebdon took a pivotal sixth frame - he had Bingham needing a snooker, gave away a black-ball foul to open it up but pulled through. The next two were shared before Ebdon sealed a 6-3 win with an excellent break of 109.

Ebdon hailed his vegan diet for energy levels.

He said: "I've had four or five bananas, I've had some apples, grapes... It's massive. I feel fresh. It would have been easy for me to fold and I felt fantastic."

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