Peter Ebdon can expect a verbal blast from Tony Drago when the duo complete their acrimonious second round match in the Embassy World Championship tomorrow.
The defending champion is poised to reach the quarter-finals after taking seven of this afternoon’s eight frames of their penultimate session.
But Ebdon’s 11-5 lead was overshadowed as both players lost their cool in a bid to stay in the tournament.
Drago was fuming at what he perceived to be Ebdon’s slow play and delaying tactics.
The defending champion was angered by the playing conditions and is thought to have confronted tournament director Mike Ganley during the mid-session interval.
But Drago’s anger was more visible. After missing an easy pink in frame 15 the Maltese star conceded with seven reds left on the table.
The score was just 31-12 in favour of the world number three from Wellingborough.
At the conclusion of the frame Ebdon disappeared backstage for a toilet break.
Already incensed by an earlier Ebdon excursion to the loo, Drago sarcastically applauded his opponent back to the table. He also gave the champion a long stare as he sat down.
Ebdon, whose average shot time was 29 seconds compared to Drago’s 12, responded by knocking in a break of 105.
But even before the last couple of balls were potted, Drago had removed his bow tie in readiness for the end of the session.
They shook hands – as quickly as Drago pots balls – before leaving the arena.
Drago refused to speak after the session but is unlikely to be as reticent when the game is over tomorrow morning.