Limerick born Leo Fernandez produces huge upset at UK Championship

Fernandez came back to defeat Ding Junhui 

Leo Fernandez produced a huge upset at the UK Snooker championship yesterday evening when he defeated World Number 3 Ding Junhui at the York Barbican.

Fernandez was behind 5-1 at one stage in the best of 11 tie and looked like he wouldn’t be mounting much of a challenge for Junhui.

However the World number 130 amazingly won the next four frames to take the game to a decider.

An exciting final frame saw the Limerick born player lead 64-27 but this was cut down to 64-56 by his opponent with only three balls left on the table.

But luck was to be on Fernandez’s side yesterday evening when the Chinese player potted the blue but couldn’t subsequently dislodge the pink from the cushion. His safety attempt went awry and the 41 year old won an historic fixture.

The 41 year old became professional in 1995 and competed in the 1999 World Championship.

“It’s my best moment in snooker for sure.

At 5-1 down I was thinking about the train journey home. I tried to stay calm and enjoy it.

I’m suffering from a slipped disc in my back and sciatica so I’m lucky to be here. It was hard fighting the pain. The adrenaline kept me going and I started to play well.

I’m having physiotherapy and acupuncture. I might need to have surgery which could end my career, but if that happens at least I’ll take this win with me.”


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Diarmaid Scannell