Ken Doherty finished his Champions Cup campaign on a high note with a brave comeback victory over Stephen Lee at the Brighton Centre yesterday.

Doherty looked to be heading for the wooden spoon in Group A when he trailed world No.5 Lee 3-1.

Despite being blitzed by breaks of 92, 89, and 102, the former world champion from Dublin recovered to win 5-3.

It just was not Lee's day or tournament. The Wiltshire player, who like his Irish stablemate will not play again for another month, missed the chance of a maximum break in frame three after taking 12 reds and 11 blacks.

''It's disappointing to be going home so soon, because I'm hitting the ball sweetly,'' said Doherty, who lost both his opening games against Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry 5-4.

''At least I know if I can repeat this form in the ranking events I should do well.''

Doherty rallied well after the interval and compiled breaks of 94 and 69 to ensure Lee ended the competition without a victory.

Earlier, Ronnie O'Sullivan made it three wins out of three in Group B with a 5-2 success over Matthew Stevens.

O'Sullivan, who won four frames in a row against last season's Embassy world finalist, now plays Mark Williams or Stephen Hendry for a place in Sunday's best of 13 frames final.

Stevens will not know his fate until the conclusion of today's match between John Higgins, the world No.2 from Scotland, or Jimmy White. Today's order of play:

11.30am (best of 9): Group A - M Williams (Wales) v S Hendry (Scotland). Group B - J Higgins (Scotland) v J White (England).

n Andy Hicks will not be part of the 48-man field for October's British Open in Plymouth after losing in the qualifiers at Newport yesterday.

Hicks, from nearby Tavistock, lost 5-2 to Scotland's John Lardner, the world No.67, and will miss the televised stage of his home event for the first time.

A former World championship semi-finalist, Hicks slipped four places to No.36 in the world last season, which meant he had to face extra qualifying rounds in the new campaign. But the 27-year-old was made to sit out breaks of 79, 55, 94, and 53 as Lardner moved to within one victory of the TV phase.

Stuart Bingham, the surprise conqueror of Stephen Hendry in the first round of last season's World championship, defeated Jason Weston to advance to the final qualifying round. Results (England unless stated):

Third qualifying round - S Bingham beat J Weston, 5-1; H Abernethy (Scotland) beat I McCulloch, 5-2; J Burnett (Scotland) beat D Clarke, 5-2; R Milkins beat D Rowe, 5-1; A Burden beat R Day (Wales) 5-2; K Helgasson (Iceland) beat J Reid, 5-3; M Campbell (Scotland) beat N Terry, 5-1; J Lardner (Scotland) beat A Hicks, 5-2; G Wilkinson beat P Phonbun (Thailand) 5-3; J Birch beat C Phorat (Thailand) 5-4; S Ali (Pakistan) beat E Henderson (Scotland) 5-3; M Couch beat N Dyson, 5-4.