Tag Archives: bingham

Shaun Murphy beats Luca Brecel in UK Championship quarter-finals

Young Brecel's not so pretty on the pink as Murphy ends Belgian's fairytale run

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UPDATED:

01:08 GMT, 7 December 2012

Shaun Murphy dodged a Belgian bullet as Luca Brecel ran into pink peril and bowed out in the quarter-finals of the williamhill.com UK Championship.

Seventeen-year-old Brecel was twice on the brink of a famous victory at just his second major tournament.

But the rising star missed crucial pinks in the 10th and 11th frames to allow Murphy to capitalise both times.

Eye on the ball: Shaun Murphy had to dig deep to get the better of Luca Brecel

Eye on the ball: Shaun Murphy had to dig deep to get the better of Luca Brecel

The second steal clinched a 6-5 victory for the 2008 UK champion, setting up a semi-final tomorrow against Stuart Bingham's conqueror Ali Carter.

Murphy pointed to strong words at the interval from his manager Brandon Parker as a key factor in his victory.

'Brandon gave me a good talking-to at the interval that would have rivalled one of Sir Alex Ferguson's half-time talks, and it really knocked me into shape,' Murphy said.

'It's lucky there were no hairdryers in that dressing room. I think I'd have got one. Without Brandon's words I would have lost the match.'

He would have gone out anyway if Brecel had been able to put away his chances.

'I thought I'd lost the match a couple of times, I really did think I was out,' Murphy said. 'I think the adrenaline and maybe a little bit of inexperience cost him in the end. He over-hit and under-hit a couple of shots, and I'm just relieved.

Nerves of steel: 17-year-old Brecel has been the talk of the UK Championship

Nerves of steel: 17-year-old Brecel has been the talk of the UK Championship

'The sense of relief and sense of pleasure is probably twice as much as if I'd won 6-0 with four maximum breaks.'

Murphy can see a future champion emerging, and pointed to shades of Stephen Hendry in Brecel's temperament.

'He's just not bothered. And as long as he can keep that, that's what the best champions in the game forever have all had in common,' Murphy said.

'When everyone else is under pressure and feeling it, they just waltz through it like it's a walk in the park. Hendry never used to show any nerves at all and Luca looks like he's got the same attributes.

'He doesn't seem to show any nerves, he doesn't seem to feel any pressure just until the last minute, and it was lucky for me he did.'

Elsewhere at the Barbican, Mark Davis joined the semi-final line-up as the most successful season of his 21 years as a snooker professional reached a new high.

The 40-year-old Hastings man reached his third ranking event semi-final of the campaign with a 6-4 victory over the 2003 UK champion Matthew Stevens.

Into the last four: Davis

Into the last four: Davis

Davis had never made it so far in one of snooker's majors before this term, but he began his run of success at the Wuxi Classic in June, followed it up with another semi-final showing at the Australian Open in July and now has a final in his sights in York.

He fired breaks of 101, 80 and 70 in seeing off Welshman Stevens, earning himself a shot at Mark Selby, who fought back from 4-0 down to beat Neil Robertson 6-4.

The key frame was the 49-minute ninth, which after an intense battle Selby took, and when Robertson left him a cheap opening red early in the next frame the Leicester man made a match-winning 101 break.

Selby punched the air in celebration after potting the red that made victory safe, tying up victory at 12.05am.

Selby, 29, will go back to No 1 in the world should he beat Davis to reach the final, having relinquished top spot to Judd Trump in November.

Selby said: 'It's a special win. The way I finished off was pleasing but at the start of the match I was terrible, pathetic, and I deserved to be 4-0 down.

'Until 4-3 I didn't really start playing the way I'm capable of playing. I finished off well and it's surprising to come out on top.'

San Jose Earthquakes 2 Swansea 2 – match report

San Jose 2 Swansea 2: Laudrup's men end US tour by conceding two late goals

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UPDATED:

05:36 GMT, 1 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Swansea lost a two-goal lead in the closing stages to draw 2-2 with San Jose Earthquakes in the final match of their pre-season tour to the United States.

Goals from Danny Graham and Chico looked set to give the victory to Michael Laudrup's side, who lost to the Colorado Rapids before beating Ventura County Fusion in their two previous two tour matches.

Head boy: Summer signing Chico powered home Swansea's second goal on the hour mark

Head boy: Summer signing Chico powered home Swansea's second goal on the hour mark

Oh Danny boy: Striker Danny Graham had opened the scoring for the Premier League side in the first-half

Oh Danny boy: Striker Danny Graham had opened the scoring for the Premier League side in the first-half

However, San Jose substitute Steven Lenhart netted twice in the final 10 minutes to salvage a draw for the home side.

Both sides created chances to open the scoring at Buck Shaw Stadium before Graham managed it in the 41st minute when he took advantage of a defensive error to calmly beat home goalkeeper David Bingham.

Swans custodian Michel Vorm kept his side in the lead with a fine save to deny Sercan Guvenisik during a period of pressure from the home side at the start of the second half.

Good work out: The eventual draw was the final leg in what has been a good tour for the Swans

Good work out: The eventual draw was the final leg in what has been a good tour for the Swans

Good work out: The eventual draw was the final leg in what has been a good tour for the Swans

The Barclays Premier League side withstood that spell though and netted their second goal on the hour mark when summer signing Chico headed home his first goal for the club following a cross from centre-back partner Ashley Williams.

That looked set to give Swansea the win, but they were hit with by a late double by Lenhart.

San Jose pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left when Lenhart turned in a cross from fellow replacement Shea Salinas, and the striker then levelled up the scores with another header in the 85th minute as honours were shared.

Stephen Hendry losing 7-1 to Stephen Maguire

Hendry faces Crucible exit as seven-time championis left trailing Maguire

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UPDATED:

12:59 GMT, 1 May 2012

Stephen Hendry looked to be heading out of the Betfred.com World Championship after a dismal performance against fellow Scot Stephen Maguire on Tuesday.

The seven-time champion fell 7-1 behind in their quarter-final and the prospect of a defeat with a session to spare was looming.

Scot of bother: Hendry faces a last-eight exit from the Crucible

Scot of bother: Hendry faces a last-eight exit from the Crucible

He missed the pink so badly in the third frame it was cringeworthy and underlined his struggle.

The crowd groaned, Hendry wore an embarrassed face, and Maguire potted pink and black to move 3-0 ahead.

With eight frames to be played tonight, and 13 the target for victory and a place in the semi-finals, Hendry knew he would need to win three to avoid complete humiliation.

After resounding wins over Stuart Bingham and last year's champion John Higgins, there was growing support for Hendry to land an eighth Crucible title, 13 years after his seventh.

In control: Maguire has taken a 7-1 lead against Hendry

In control: Maguire has taken a 7-1 lead against Hendry

But aside from a break of 65 which gave him the seventh frame, the 43-year-old struggled badly throughout the session.

Maguire did not have to find peak form, and initially simply picked at the scraps Hendry was repeatedly leaving for him.

The 31-year-old had a handy break of 41 in the second frame and a slick 68 to move 4-0 in front.

The key early moment in the match came at the business end of frame three, when Hendry looked for all the world like he would clear the table.

On a break that had taken him to 52-52, he left himself the straightforward pink.

It was slightly off straight but certainly not difficult, and yet Hendry missed it by inches wretchedly, with Maguire again feasting on the leftovers.

Hendry immediately left the arena with a baffled face, but after composing himself could only watch Maguire make a frame-winning run to move further ahead.

Maguire had a 117 break to lead 5-0, a 60 to make it six in a row, and after Hendry finally got on the board a rapid 95 inflicted the final blow of the session.

The statistics bore out the one-sided nature of the contest, with Hendry outscored 587-159. While Maguire had a pot success rate of 93 per cent, Hendry was on a dismal per cent.

World Snooker Championship 2012: Stephen Hendry and John Higgins level

Hendry and Higgins level in long-awaited battle of the Scots

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UPDATED:

11:24 GMT, 27 April 2012

Stephen Hendry and John Higgins were level after four frames of their long-awaited first Crucible meeting on Friday as Scotland had a day to savour in Sheffield.

While Hendry made his debut as long ago as 1986, since Higgins made his in 1995 they might have gone head to head in any year.

Bafflingly they have avoided each other, but the draw offered the opportunity for a second-round tussle at this year's Betfred.com World Championship, and with Higgins overcoming Liang Wenbo and Hendry crushing Stuart Bingham, the potential showdown became a reality.

Match up: Stephen Hendry and John Higgins are tied

Match up: Stephen Hendry and John Higgins are tied

Higgins, the 36-year-old four-time world champion, took the opening two frames of the best-of-25-frames match, which had four frames remaining this morning, eight more tonight and a possible nine to play tomorrow, but neither player looked to have settled down.

Hendry, 43, who won the last of his record seven world titles in 1999, then responded with two classy breaks to draw level at 2-2.

Squint as you watched him return to form, and it could have been the player who dominated the famous venue through the 1990s.

And yet any Crucible newcomer told the pair had won 11 world titles between them might reasonably, in the very early stages, have asked the question: 'In which sport'

Nerves, despite their respective records in Sheffield, were inevitably a factor in a sluggish start.

They each potted an early red and followed up by missing a colour, while Hendry then committed two fouls on the black. Eventually, Higgins crept ahead in the match with breaks of 27 and 39 but the opening frame was far from pretty.

Nerves: Both players were not at their fluent best

Nerves: Both players were not at their fluent best

Higgins found a little fluency and a 52 break helped him to extend his lead, with Hendry then playing one attempted plant that defied good reasoning as the frame slipped away.

Although there was a long way to go, Hendry needed to show he could be a force in the match, and duly Auchterarder's most celebrated resident came good.

A break of 81 in frame three was vintage Hendry, denied the chance to reach a century only when the green rattled around the jaws of its corner pocket.

Then Hendry fired in a swift run of 69 that ended when he clipped one red into another, presenting Wishaw cueman Higgins with an opening. At 73-0 ahead, Hendry returned to his seat knowing a possible 75 was left on the table.

Higgins began picking off the points but then snookered himself behind the blue, failed to connect with a red, and gave Hendry a free ball. That was effectively frame over, the grand master punishing the mistake to restore equality at the mid-session interval.

Stephen Hendry wary of misfiring John Higgins

Hendry wary of misfiring Higgins as Scottish rivals prepare for first Crucible showdown

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 26 April 2012

Stephen Hendry and John Higgins will
turn the Crucible into a Scottish enclave when they clash on Friday
– and each man claims the other can win the Betfred.com World
Championship.

It will remarkably be the first time Higgins and Hendry have ever clashed on the most famous stage in snooker.

In-form: Stephen Hendry

In-form: Stephen Hendry

Between them, 43-year-old Hendry and 36-year-old Higgins have claimed 11 world titles.

And while it will be a special personal occasion for both men, a place in the quarter-finals is at stake.

Higgins stumbled past Liang Wenbo in the opening round by winning a deciding frame, while Hendry rolled back the years as he crushed Stuart Bingham and fired in a maximum break for good measure.

The prospect of an in-form Hendry taking on a struggling Higgins gives the match even more appeal.

Not that Hendry attaches great significance to how reigning champion Higgins began his campaign.

'Many times when I was winning the World Championship my first-round matches were 10-8 or 10-9, and you come through,' Hendry said.

'Even last year he won the World Championship not at his best at any stage, but he just refuses to go down and his B game is better than 80% of people's A game.

Struggling: John Higgins

Struggling: John Higgins

'He always refuses to get beaten, he's a phenomenal competitor.'

Four-time world champion Higgins recently played down his chances of matching Hendry's record haul of seven titles, but he has also not dismissed the prospect of playing himself into prime form, inching closer to it with every round.

Even before the draw was made, Higgins was hoping this would be the year he and Hendry met.

“I know Stephen was talking about retirement and I've not got a lot left, but I thought it would be unbelievable if we never play each other in Sheffield,” said the Wishaw man. The sight of Hendry in vintage form has put Higgins on alert though, and he said of the veteran Auchterarder cue king: “He can win this event definitely.”

This year, Hendry is a qualifier, having had to beat China's Yu Delu in a preliminary match to reach the Crucible stage of the tournament.

Pressure point: Shaun Murphy

Pressure point: Shaun Murphy

He played his part, by beating Bingham, in the first-round march of the underdogs, as eight qualifiers eliminated seeds. Such a cull of the game's leading players had not happened since 1992, the year Hendry won his second world title.

Hendry has had an insight into the depth of talent on tour during a season in which he has had to play preliminaries for most events.

Several theories have been offered to explain the scattering of the seeds, foremost among them being the fact the final qualifiers were staged just a week before the World Championship began, meaning players came to the tournament itself on a high from what for some were season-defining victories.

And arriving in Sheffield, the pressure is all on the seed, allowing the qualifier almost a free ride. In the past week the strain has told for many, including Ding Junhui, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy.

“You've not got much to lose I suppose,” Hendry said. “Most of the pressure is on the other guy.”

Hendry is optimistic that this year he is mentally attuned to the demands of the tournament.

Three years ago his game fell apart after a 147 against Shaun Murphy, and he lost the match, but in his opener this year he made sure there was no way back for Bingham.

“You learn from mistakes you make,” Hendry said.

Still learning, 14 years since the last of his Crucible titles, Hendry arrived back in Sheffield today after driving back home between matches.

He and Higgins have morning and evening sessions tomorrow. Their long wait for this occasion, and Scotland's, is almost over.

League Two round-up: Swindon promoted

League Two round-up: Swindon promoted but Shews must wait

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

17:32 GMT, 21 April 2012

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UPDATED:

20:49 GMT, 21 April 2012

Swindon were promoted to npower League One despite going down 3-1 at Gillingham on Saturday.

Paolo Di Canio's side will have been
disappointed not to have secured their own promotion – which was
confirmed courtesy of Torquay's defeat – but they remain four points
clear in the title race with two to play.

Paolo promoted: Di Canio will now look to secure the title for Swindon

Paolo promoted: Di Canio will now look to secure the title for Swindon

‘We have to focus on the title now,’ said Di Canio. ‘The last two performances are due to a long season, but I am happy for the players and the fans because after 10 months we can celebrate promotion.

‘Only one team can be called the champions, and I want us to be that team because I am a greedy man.

‘We have this in our hands, we are four points clear so we need to win on Saturday. I will do everything I can.’

Chris Whelpdale scored twice for Gills – who maintain a notional play-off hope of their own – with Danny Kedwell kicking off the scoring and Alan McCormack grabbing Swindon's goal.

Second-placed Shrewsbury missed the opportunity to join the Robins in booking a place in League One as they drew 1-1 with Accrington.

Going up: Swindon players celebrate their promotion

Going up: Swindon players celebrate their promotion

Terry Gornell and Bryan Hughes were the scorers.

Torquay slipped to fourth after goals from Rashid Yussuf and George Moncur condemned them to defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

That allowed Crawley to replace them in the final automatic promotion place after a 1-1 draw at Dagenham.

Scarf ace: Di Canio gives his scarf to a young fan as a momento

Scarf ace: Di Canio gives his scarf to a young fan as a momento

Charlie Wassmer put Crawley ahead only for the equaliser to arrive via Billy Bingham just before the interval.

Crewe extended their unbeaten run to 14 games to move into the final play-off place, David Artell scoring the only goal against sixth-placed Cheltenham.

Salute: Di Canio

Punch the air: Swindon's Alan McCormack netted his side's only goal

Salute: Di Canio (left) saw Alan McCormack (right) net Swindon's only goal

Oxford were the side to make way for Alexandra after their 1-1 draw at Plymouth, Asa Hall equalising for United following Robbie Williams' early opener.

At the wrong end of the table Macclesfield slipped behind Hereford to go bottom.

They lost 1-0 at Bradford, with James Hanson the match-winner. Hereford claimed a point courtesy of a goalless draw against Northampton.

Riding high: Alan Connell after Swindon learned of their promotion

Riding high: Alan Connell after Swindon learned of their promotion

The only other side involved in the relegation battle are Barnet, who sit two points above the Bulls.

Elsewhere Aldershot drubbed hosts Burton 4-0, with goals from Peter Vincenti, Wilko Risser and two from Guy Madjo.

Port Vale beat 10-man Bristol Rovers 1-0, Marc Richards on target in the 23rd minute and Tom Parkes seeing red 16 minutes later.

Lewis Grabban was the last-gasp hero as Rotherham beat Morecambe 3-2, scoring the match-winner – and his second of the game – in added time. By that point the Millers were down a man following Ryan Cresswell's second caution.

Jason Taylor scored the Rotherham's second goal, with Jordan Burrow and Jack Redshaw netting for the visitors.

Great Britain"s 4x400m relay team win silver medal after USA gold is reinstated

Silver turns to gold and back to silver for men's 4x400m relay team

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UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 11 March 2012

The British men's 4×400-metre relay team were awarded a gold medal following the disqualification of the American team – and then had it taken away from them – as the US team had their gold reinstated after winning their appeal at the world indoor championships.

The Americans crossed the line first but were disqualified for 'exchanging positions before take-over.'

Silver lining: Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Richard Buck and Michael Bingham were awarded gold - and then went back to silver

Silver lining: Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Richard Buck and Michael Bingham were awarded gold – and then went back to silver

The U.S. appealed and was awarded gold.

The decision dropped Britain back to
silver and Trinidad and Tobago to bronze. Russia, which had been moved
up to bronze, finished fourth.

Great Britain"s 4x400m relay team awarded gold after USA are disqualified

Silver turns to gold as men's 4x400m relay team add to Great Britain's medal haul

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UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 11 March 2012

Britain's men were awarded gold in the 4x400m relay after finishing second to the USA – who were later disqualified – at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

The team of Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck crossed the line in second place.

Golden finish: Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Richard Buck and Michael Bingham were awarded gold

Golden finish: Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Richard Buck and Michael Bingham were awarded gold

But the Americans, who won the race, were disqualified for 'exchanging positions before take-over'.

Britain moved up from silver to gold, while Trinidad and Tobago moved from bronze to silver and Russia took the bronze.

WELSH OPEN 2012: Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens crash out

Welsh duo Williams and Stevens crash out of home tournament

Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens were dumped out in the last 16 of the 888 Welsh Open to end home involvement in Newport.

Williams was beaten 4-1 by the in-form Ronnie O'Sullivan, who ominously appears to be hitting his stride, while Stevens fell to a 4-2 defeat to last year's finalist Stephen Maguire.

Pocket rocket: In-form O'Sullivan brushed aside Williams

Pocket rocket: In-form O'Sullivan brushed aside Williams

Williams has failed to beat O'Sullivan in 10 years and that run was extended after the two-time world champion paid the price for errors in the fourth and fifth frames.

The match got off to a terrific start as the players compiled a century apiece from the first two frames.

O'Sullivan, fresh from his 23 ranking tournament victory in Germany earlier this month, made a sharp start as he forced Williams to spend the opening frame sat in his chair as he effortlessly compiled a break of 125 to take an early lead.

But Williams fought back instantly in front of his home crowd as he punished an early O'Sullivan error to put together a magnificent run of 133 and level.

O'Sullivan reclaimed the lead as a tremendous long shot helped him set up a 90-plus break, and Williams was left kicking himself as he fell 3-1 down after throwing away a winning position.

The Welshman had put together a break of 41 when he missed a red down the side cushion to allow O'Sullivan in for a clearance of 45.

Williams' error was compounded when he missed a long red after a poor positional shot and O'Sullivan made no mistake as he put together a break of 56 to complete another victory over his fellow world champion to set up a quarter-final against Judd Trump or Stuart Bingham.

In the other game Maguire stole an early march by taking the first two frames. But Stevens hit back with an excellent break of 84 in the next frame to put himself back in contention.

Maguire quickly reasserted his authority by compiling 111, but Stevens continued to battle hard and his 66 in the fifth frame kept the contest alive.

Stevens looked set to level the match in the sixth frame, but he missed the final red down the side cushion which would have given him the frame, allowing Maguire to make a clearance that clinched his last-eight spot.

The afternoon session also saw world number nine Joe Allen complete a second straight 4-0 win as he brushed aside Stephen Hendry.

An opening frame break of 81 gave Allen the lead before he fought his way back from 58-22 down with the help of a snooker to win it.

A disconsolate Hendry then conceded the third despite only needing two snookers, and Allen sealed the win with a 68 break in the fourth.

Stephen Lee beat Tom Ford 4-1 in the remaining match as he built on a stunning opening break of 129 to seal a comfortable win.

Mark Selby sneaks through to second round of Wales Open

Lucky Selby sneaks through to second round of Wales Open

World No 1 Mark Selby got a huge let-off as he overcame the unfancied Sam Baird 4-3 in the opening round of the 888 Welsh Open in Newport.

A missed blue off the spot with two balls left cost Baird the sixth frame and a 4-2 victory, and Selby then took the seventh after a nervous finish.

Selby, far from his fluent best, should have cruised to the finish in the deciding frame, but key misses gave Baird hope, only for an untimely miscue to let Selby off the hook.

Sneaking through: Selby scraped past Sam Baird

Sneaking through: Selby scraped past Sam Baird

Baird, the world number 82, had trailed 2-1 but used big breaks, including an 85 in the fifth, to turn the match around.

Stephen Lee enjoyed a straightforward afternoon's work as he overcame fellow Englishman Michael Holt 4-1.

Lee won the first frame but paid for a number of missed chances in frame two as Holt drew level.

The match swung in Lee's favour in frame three when, needing the final three colours to pinch the frame, he could manage only blue and pink, leaving his opponent to sweep up.

The 37-year-old from Wiltshire soon eased into a 3-1 lead and then finished things off with a 53 break, having trailed 52-17.

Martin Gould also progressed with a 4-2 victory over Peter Ebdon, while Stuart Bingham beat Mark King by the same score.