Tag Archives: murphy

WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP 2013: Shaun Murphy beats Graeme Dott

Shock treatment riles Dott as Murphy battles to second round win in gripping battle

By
Ivan Speck

PUBLISHED:

23:05 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Graeme Dott lost a gripping late night second round encounter 13-11 to Shaun Murphy but it was the shock treatment he endured in the morning session which jarred him most.

The Scot felt a static shock every time he played a shot close to the cushion and refused to play on until an official sprayed the carpet with water.

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Dott said: ‘I had it once before in Ireland and they watered the carpet there so that’s why I told them to do that today.

‘It was every shot and if it wasn’t
the big shocks I was getting little ones constantly. They wanted me to
finish the frame before they watered the carpet. I refused because it’s
not fair to get an electric shock every time you touch the table.

Murphy, winner here in 2005, said: ‘I
could hear the crack of the shots but I thought water and electricity
together was bad, so I don’t get it.

'I've never seen a man out there spraying the carpet. I thought it was weird.'

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Dott battled back superbly from 6-2
down to draw level at 8-8 going into the concluding session on Friday
night. The two remained level at 10-10, before Murphy crucially won a
frame that lasted nearly an hour on a re-spotted black.

He then won the next to move 12-10 in
front, and even though 2006 champion Dott stayed alive by winning the
23rd frame, Murphy kept his nerve to book his place in the last eight.

Dott said afterwards: 'It was a good game to be involved in. I played well this morning but yesterday I kept missing unbelievable balls. You don't win many matches where you lose the first session 6-2. I think Shaun played well tonight and was stronger than me, and he deserved to win.'

Murphy said: 'Finishes like that are great fun. That's the whole point of being a snooker player, those moments there. I've lost my fair share of late-night Crucible matches and it's nice to come through one of them.'

Elsewhere on Friday night, world No 1 Mark Selby edged 9-7 ahead against Barry Hawkins.

Earlier in the day, 2011 runner-up Judd Trump fired in breaks of 109, 127 and 112 in building a 6-2 lead against Marco Fu.

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0 match report: Gary Hooper"s 18th of the season extends Bhoys" lead

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0: Hooper's 18th of the season extends Bhoys' lead at the summit

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 2 January 2013

Gary Hooper's late strike gave Celtic victory over Motherwell in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Hoops keeper Fraser Forster made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty, awarded for Kelvin Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before the Englishman converted a Georgios Samaras cross from close range with 11 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season at home, though, the champions ended up struggling to get three points from a match that should have been over by the interval.

Well keeper Darren Randolph kept Celtic at bay with a series of saves although there were some glaring misses too before Hooper pounced to take Neil Lennon's side into the winter break nine points clear of Inverness at the top of the table.

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

Match facts

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose (Rogne 84), Wilson, Izaguirre, Commons (McGeouch 82), Kayal (Watt 72), Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper. Subs not used: Zaluska, Nouioui, McCourt, Chalmers.

Booked: Mulgrew, Kayal, Wanyama, Forster.

Goal: Hooper 79.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Kerr, Ramsden, Hammell, Humphrey, Law, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Daley 86), Ojamaa (McHugh 86), Murphy. Subs not used: Hollis, Higdon, Carswell, Hetherington, Cummins.

Booked: Ojamaa, Lasley.

Referee: Steven McLean.

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However, Motherwell manager Stuart
McCall, set to lose forward Murphy to Sheffield United this week, will
wonder how different it might have been had Hateley scored from the
spot.

Lennon made four changes and returned
to a back four after admitting three at the back did not work in the
1-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

In came Adam Matthews, Beram Kayal,
Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew with skipper Scott Brown, Mikael
Lustig, Lassad Nouioui and Thomas Rogne dropping out, the latter two on
the bench.

Motherwell showed two changes with
Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol in for Shaun Hutchinson and Michael
Higdon, the big striker consigned to the bench where he watched the home
side's whirlwind start suggest a demolition job.

Samaras had the ball in the net from Commons' cross in the second minute but was flagged offside.
Commons then flashed a shot from the edge of the box just wide after
being set up by Hooper, who then turned and drove wide after taking a
Kayal pass with his back to goal.

In the seventh minute Randolph made a
fine save from Hooper's stab from close range after more good work on
the left from Samaras, before tipping stand-in skipper Mulgrew's curling
free-kick over the bar for a corner.

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

There was no let-up in the pressure
on the Motherwell goal and moments later Randolph flew to his left to
pluck a goal-bound Commons shot out of the air.

The Hoops support groaned once more
when Victor Wanyama then missed Mulgrew's corner altogether from eight
yards, allowing Well to clear their lines.

Murphy, skipper for the day, should
have put the visitors ahead following a break in the 20th minute when he
was played in by Keith Lasley but he lashed the ball over the bar.

Defender Efe Ambrose guided Mulgrew's whipped-in free-kick past the near post from six yards out.
Motherwell slowly grew in confidence as the first half wore on.

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

In the 37th minute Murphy tested
Forster with a drive from the edge of the box and moments later curled a
shot from 14 yards past the far post after working his way past Kayal
and into a good shooting position.

Samaras had a low drive from 20 yards saved by Randolph.

With seconds remaining Ambrose missed
the chance of the half when Randolph dropped Wanyama's header from a
Mulgrew corner, the Parkhead defender hooking the ball over the bar from
barely two yards.

Celtic had an unconvincing start to
the second period but with six minutes gone Randolph tipped a deflected
shot from Wanyama over the bar.

Celtic dropped the tempo which
allowed Well to breath slightly easier but Randolph was still seeing
plenty of the ball, making another decent save from Commons'
right-footed drive from 25 yards in the 67th minute.

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Both sides were taking turns to
attack but Motherwell were handed a great chance to take the lead when
referee Steven McLean adjudged Wilson to have tripped Murphy in the box.

There was some concern as to whether
Hateley had the ball on the spot or not – and Forster was booked for
pointing this out – but when the Motherwell player blasted his shot to
his left the Celtic flew across to make a great save.

The incident seemed to energise
Celtic and they were soon in the lead when Hooper played the ball to
Samaras and ran into the box to collect the return pass and slip the
ball under Randolph from six yards.

There were some nervy moments before the final whistle as Motherwell went for broke but in the end Celtic deserved their win.

West Ham Gael Givet, Salomon Kalou and Marouane Chamakh

Hammers eye move for Rovers defender Givet and wants strikers Kalou and Chamakh

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 30 December 2012

West Ham are weighing up a move for Blackburn Rovers French defender Gael Givet, 31, who is out of contract in the summer.

Manager Sam Allardyce remains keen on a loan for Lille forward Salomon Kalou and Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh.

Hammer time: Blackburn's Gael Givet is a target for West Ham

Hammer time: Blackburn's Gael Givet is a target for West Ham

Wanted man: Salomon Kalou

Marouane Chamakh

Wanted men: Salomon Kalou and Marouane Chamakh are West Ham targets

Leeds will compete with Norwich City for Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith. Swansea are hopeful of signing Bristol City winger Albert Adomah for 3m.

Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson is talking terms with Motherwell winger Jamie Murphy after agreeing a 100,000 fee.

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0 match report

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0: Boro bounce back and pile the pressure on Berg

PUBLISHED:

17:37 GMT, 26 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:44 GMT, 26 December 2012

Lukas Jutkiewicz struck the game's
solitary goal midway through the second half as Middlesbrough bounced
back from Saturday's npower Championship defeat at Leeds to keep their
automatic promotion hopes alive.

Polish striker Jutkiewicz struck for
the second successive game with a clinical low finish from the edge of
the penalty area to lift Tony Mowbray's side up to third, within a point
of second-placed Hull.

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Match facts

Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Woodgate, Bikey (Rhys Williams 46), Hoyte, Ledesma, McEachran (Smallwood 56), Leadbitter, Emnes (Bailey 72), Jutkiewicz, McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Halliday, Miller.

Booked: Ledesma

Goals: Jutkiewicz 67.

Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Grant Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Rosado (Dunn 79), Murphy, Lowe, King, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards (Rochina 83). Subs Not Used: Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Etuhu, Vukcevic.

Booked: Henley.

Att: 22,882

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

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Blackburn, who have now won only once under manager Henning Berg in 10 matches, were made to pay for missed chances and continue to slide down the table after securing just one point from their last six fixtures.

Rovers' late substitute Ruben Rochina was denied a late equaliser when Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele kept out his free-kick, but the home side were also guilty of some wasteful finishing.

Defender Andre Bikey and Argentinian striker Emmanuel Ledesma returned for Boro, while Portugal Under-21s international Diogo Rosado made his first start for Blackburn with midfielder Danny Murphy and defender Grant Hanley also recalled by Berg.

Middlesbrough made the brighter start as Jutkiewicz and Ledesma both fired over the crossbar from inside the penalty area before 16-goal Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes fired a shot just off target at the other end.

Rosado then tested Steele with a swirling, angled drive from 35 yards that was well held by the Boro goalkeeper and in a see-saw opening Jutkiewicz's header from Ledesma's cross was gathered by Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean.

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Middlesbrough defender George Friend and midfield team-mate Grant Leadbitter both fired in shots from outside the area, but the home side were given a let-off in the 24th minute when Rhodes spurned a gilt-edged chance from close range.

Boro continued to rain in shots from long range. Rosado, again from more than 30 yards, striker Scott McDonald and Ledesma all tried their luck from distance before the break, the latter's well held by Kean in the 35th minute.

Both sides went in search of the game's opening goal in an even contest, but the score remained goalless at the interval.

Mowbray replaced Bikey with Rhys Williams during the interval and the latter was straight into the action, blocking Rovers striker Josh King's goalbound effort before Murphy's 20-yard shot was well held by Steele.

Jutkiewicz was next to waste a golden opportunity when he headed wide from six yards from McDonald's telling cross in the 50th minute, while Rovers striker Colin Kazim-Richards saw his header saved by Steele before blazing the rebound over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Jutkiewicz dragged an angled shot wide and forward team-mate Marvin Emnes arrowed a 25-yard effort off target, but in the 67th minute Boro broke the deadlock.

McDonald pulled the ball back towards the edge of the penalty area from the left and Jutkiewicz buried a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Blackburn boss Berg replaced Rosado with David Dunn in the 78th minute before fellow midfielder Jason Lowe fired a low angled shot just wide and moments later visiting goalkeeper Kean denied Boro a second when tipping McDonald's close-range effort over the crossbar at full stretch.

Rovers almost snatched a point in the final minute, but Rochina's goalbound free-kick was brilliantly saved by Boro keeper Steele.

Martin Jol hails Dimitar Berbatov after Fulham beat Newcastle

Jol hails magical Berbatov after fine display (but he should have scored!)

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 10 December 2012

Fulham manager Martin Jol praised the all-round influence of star striker Dimitar Berbatov following the Whites' 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Craven Cottage.

Jol's side had not won in seven games but took the lead through a deflected Steve Sidwell effort and secured a much-needed three points when Hugo Rodallega headed home just nine minutes after Hatem Ben Arfa had levelled for the visitors.

Berbatov should have scored at least once on the night but his close control and first touch drew constant applause from the majority of the fans inside Craven Cottage.

Head and shoulders above the rest: Dimitar Berbatov was the key man as Fulham beat Newcastle

Head and shoulders above the rest: Dimitar Berbatov was the key man as Fulham beat Newcastle

Jol, too, was impressed with the performance from the man he signed from Manchester United in August.

'We had that spell (of poor results) that started against Sunderland with the red card and two big injuries for us,' he said. 'That was very disappointing for us and then after that we couldn't play Bryan Ruiz – he was out for four weeks for us.

'I was happy that Berbatov, after talking to him, could fill in that role (behind the striker). It was vital, he didn't score so that was disappointing, but on the other hand he linked us up and kept the team together – I was very happy with him.'

Berbatov's arrival was hailed as something of a coup for Jol and according to the Dutchman, both he and his squad are aware of how important the former Spurs striker is to Fulham.

'The good thing about my squad is that they realise Berbatov is an outstanding player,' he said.

'For me the most important thing is that after losing (Clint) Dempsey – who is making the difference for Spurs now, as well as (Mousa) Dembele plus Danny Murphy and Bryan Ruiz (through injury) I'm very happy that he came to this club because otherwise maybe we could have ended up with a little problem.'

And Jol reckons his side were worthy of the win.

'We couldn't finish them off and then they scored that goal with Ben Arfa – he is a quality player and he scored,' he said.

Well done: Martin Jol praised the brilliant Bulgarian

Well done: Martin Jol praised the brilliant Bulgarian

'But to be fair we have got three or four opportunities and, Berbatov had maybe three of them, to score the 2-1 before that.

'You could say we didn't score at the right moment but if you see the first goal and the second goal, in hindsight it was just enough because we deserved it.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who has not seen his side win away from St James' Park since May 2, was also full of praise for Berbatov's performance.

'He was special tonight,' he said.

'Everything he seemed to pluck out of the sky, everything seemed to die on his toe – he was a real problem.

'I thought we did much better in the second half with him but he is a class act when he is in the mood and when the TV cameras are here and he is a real problem.'

Fair play: Pardew said Berbatov was 'special'

Fair play: Pardew said Berbatov was 'special'

Mark Selby beats Shaun Murphy UK Championship final

Selby celebrates return to top of rankings with UK Championship victory over Murphy

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UPDATED:

01:23 GMT, 10 December 2012

It was a case of better late than never for Mark Selby as he beat Shaun Murphy in the williamhill.com UK Championship final.

The Leicester man landed the biggest ranking event title of his career, tying up a 10-6 victory over his good friend Shaun Murphy at two minutes past midnight at the York Barbican Centre.

It was an appropriate way to mark his return to the world No 1 ranking, and Selby was warmly embraced by Murphy after wrapping up his win.

Done it: Mark Selby celebrates with the trophy after winning the final of the UK Snooker Championships

Done it: Mark Selby celebrates with the trophy after winning the final of the UK Snooker Championships

Selby, 29, had a 14-month spell as snooker's top-ranked player in which he failed to win a major trophy, and consequently he relinquished top spot to Judd Trump last month.

But Trump's first spell as number one was brief, ending when Selby reached the final at York's Barbican Centre. And there could be no better way for Selby to begin his second stint as the sport's leading player than with some long-awaited silverware.

He and Murphy looked to be perfectly matched as they shared the opening 12 frames today.

But just as a very late finish, well into the early hours of the morning, began to loom, Selby seized control and reeled off four straight frames after the interval to take the trophy and a 125,000 winner's cheque.

While Selby has won the Masters title twice, the UK Championship and World Championship titles had proved elusive. Now he has the first of those, the second will be his target in the second half of the season.

From 4-4 at the end of the afternoon action, they progressed to 6-6 by the evening mid-session interval, and in the best-of-19 contest that meant there were a possible seven frames still to play.

Selby needed only four.

It was no surprise the final was closely fought until its closing stages, with both men having needed to rely on battling tendencies to last the distance over the nine-day tournament.

Selby came from 4-0 behind to beat Neil Robertson 6-4 in the quarter-finals, while Murphy produced the tournament's finest fightback to stun Ali Carter in their semi-final, recovering from 8-4 adrift to win 9-8.

No 1: Selby will return to the top of the rankings

No 1: Selby will return to the top of the rankings

Selby had breaks of 54, 66, 70, 58, 51 and 98 in his success, while Murphy had 83, 98 and 65.

This was the first all-English final at the UK Championship since Jimmy White beat John Parrott in 1992. In those days the final was a best-of-31 match.

There was plenty riding on this final, with Murphy seeking his first ranking title for over 18 months and Selby bidding to lift his maiden UK Championship.

Selby now has a third ranking title to his name, still a meagre tally considering his great ability.

Murphy remains on four rankings titles.

Selby's charge began after the mid-session interval, and as Murphy's game began to deteriorate he took full advantage.

Murphy had the chance to pinch the 16th frame but could not hold his game together under intense pressure and Selby made certain of the title by clipping in the blue.

Selby was delighted at last to claim one of the game's two biggest ranking titles.

'I'm over the moon,' he said. 'It means a great deal to me and to beat someone of Shaun's class in a major final it makes it even more special.

Not to be: Shaun Murphy lost out to his close friend

Not to be: Shaun Murphy lost out to his close friend

'It was a strange game tonight. It wasn't pretty. I felt as if it wasn't even my arm half the time, twitching all over the place and flicking them in here and there.'

Murphy felt Selby deserved the victory.

'He's the hardest player on tour by a mile,' said Murphy. 'He's a worthy world No 1, he fully deserves it and he fully deserves tonight.

'This tournament doesn't owe me anything. I should have gone home to Luca [Brecel] in the quarters and I should have gone home to Ali in the semis. I've had a great week and I've had great support.

'I've played some good stuff and I've been beaten by the best in the world so it's not all bad.'

Selby conceded he too could easily have gone out of the tournament before the final.

'I never really give in until the last ball's potted, that's just me all over,' he said. 'If I wasn't like that there's no way I would have got to the final.

'Like Shaun, I should have gone out to Ryan Day, should have gone out to Neil, but here we both are in the final.'

With 125,000 in his bank account just before Christmas, he added: 'We can have a bit more tinsel and a few more baubles, so that's good.'

Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy level UK Championship final

Selby fights back to level UK Championship final against Murphy in York

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 9 December 2012

Mark Selby took the final two frames of the afternoon session to draw level with Shaun Murphy in a williamhill.com UK Championship final that looked set to run close and late this evening.

The pair were tied at 4-4, with a possible 11 frames to come in an evening session due to begin shortly after 8pm.

It was no surprise the final was proving keenly fought, with both men having relied on battling tendencies to last the distance at York's Barbican Centre.

Showdown: Mark Selby (left) and Shaun Murphy ahead of the final

Showdown: Mark Selby (left) and Shaun Murphy ahead of the final

Selby came from 4-0 behind to beat Neil Robertson 6-4 in the quarter-finals, while Murphy produced the tournament's most remarkable fightback to stun Ali Carter in their semi-final, recovering from 8-4 down to win 9-8.

The final was a best-of-19 tussle, with the close friends proving evenly matched on the baize.

Murphy edged ahead after a wretched attempted escape by Selby from a safety presented an early chance to put points on the board.

Murphy then led 49-0 in the second, but he was unfortunate to pot the cue ball as well as a long red and Selby fired in a frame-clinching 54 break, which he followed with a 66 to take the next.

Fine breaks of 83 and 98 either side of the mid-session interval allowed Murphy to move 3-2 in front, and it was 4-2 after the Sale-based 30-year-old edged a scrappy sixth frame that lasted 52 minutes.

All square: Selby fought back to level the afternoon session

All square: Selby fought back to level the afternoon session

Selby trimmed Murphy's lead with a 70 break, and by taking the last of the session he ensured there would be nothing between the players when play resumed later.

There was plenty riding on the match, with Murphy seeking his first ranking title for over 18 months and Selby bidding to win his maiden UK Championship.

Selby, who will reclaim the world No 1 ranking from Judd Trump tomorrow due to his run in York, has a disappointing return of just two ranking titles in his career.

Although he has also lifted the Masters trophy twice, Selby's haul does his ability little justice, and the same could be said of Murphy's total of four ranking titles.

One of them would boost their total tonight, but the early evidence pointed only to a close finish rather than which man would come out on top.

Shaun Murphy took inspiration from late great pal Paul Hunter in thrilling York comeback

Murphy took inspiration from late great pal Hunter in thrilling York comeback

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UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 8 December 2012

Shaun Murphy has been inspired by memories of Paul Hunter as he closes in on williamhill.com UK Championship glory.

Hunter was one of his sport's most popular figures but died of cancer in October 2006 at the age of 27.

In York over the past week Murphy has had his old friend on his mind, and he considers the Leeds man to have been the perfect model of a player who knew how to stay cool in the heat of battle.

Most famously, Hunter employed a 'Plan B' during the interval in his first Masters final, as he returned re-energised from spending the break with his girlfriend and future wife Lindsey in their hotel bedroom. Hunter beat Fergal O'Brien 10-9 from 6-2 behind.

Comeback win: Shaun Murphy (left) saw off Ali Carter to reach the UK Championship final

Comeback win: Shaun Murphy (left) saw off Ali Carter to reach the UK Championship final

Murphy's mental strength has shone through at the Barbican Centre where he has won final-frame deciders against Luca Brecel and Ali Carter to clinch a place in the title match. He insisted last night that there had been no 'Plan B' in operation during the Carter match.

The 30-year-old will tomorrow have a shot at the 125,000 top prize and his second UK title, four years after the first.

And when Murphy has had to fight to stay composed, three-time Masters champion Hunter's attitude has come to mind.

'I'm very strong technically and my shot selection has been good over the years, but what I've been able to do recently is hold myself together,' Murphy said.

'And I remember the great Paul Hunter, that was his best strength. Under pressure he was able to chill out and you'd never know with Paul whether he'd won or lost. I've tried to take that on board and use it to the same effect.

'I see the funny side of things rather than banging my cue on the table and in the last few frames against Ali I didn't feel any pressure at all.'

Inspiration: The late Paul Hunter had an astonishing temperament

Inspiration: The late Paul Hunter had an astonishing temperament

From 8-4 behind against Carter, Murphy won five frames in a row to prevail 9-8, and after making a recent bad habit of losing in ranking event semi-finals he is thrilled to be challenging again for one of the most prized trophies in snooker.

He said: 'I think what's happened this week is that all the little pieces of the experience that I've gathered over the last few years have all come together.

'Win, lose or draw on Sunday I've had a really great week. I've gone back to my attacking play, my long potting has been good and I've had a bit of nous here and there which I never used to have.

'I've played quite clever snooker at times. But the biggest thing for me is that I've been able to keep my composure.

'Never at any time has my head gone down. I've not been stomping around and I've not been sulking. I've just got on with it.

'I'm going into the final having already won this tournament, so I feel I probably won't be under much pressure. I've got a free crack at it.'

There was disappointment for Murphy at the beginning of the year when he was beaten in the Masters final by Neil Robertson, and that is a title he has yet to claim.

He will have another chance next month at Alexandra Palace, but for now Murphy's focus is on lifting the UK trophy.

'It'd be nice to have one of the big three,' said the player who is based in Sale, Greater Manchester.

'I had a great chance in January to win the Masters and complete my set of 'BBC' majors, that didn't happen but to have another good run at this tournament and another crack at the trophy is very, very exciting.'

Boxer Kieran Farrell rushed to hospital after losing to Anthony Crolla in Manchester

Farrell recovering in hospital following collapse after first defeat to Crolla

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UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manchester boxer Kieran Farrell collapsed and was rushed to hospital after suffering his first professional defeat against Anthony Crolla.

The 22-year-old, who had won his first 14 fights, was carried out on a stretcher and given oxygen after the brutal 10-round bout at Bowlers Arena in Trafford Park on Friday night.

Farrell was reported to be suffering from
extreme exhaustion but was recovering in hospital and is expected to be released on Sunday.

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

Crolla, who won the
English lightweight title fight on points, said: 'It's just a sport. I'm happy to win the
title, but first and foremost I hope he's okay. His well being is the main
thing.'

The unbeaten Farrell took the fight to Crolla in the early stages and had the upper hand in what was developing into a barnstorming contest.

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

But as the fight entered the sixth
round, Crolla began to edge ahead, using his jab to good effect and by
the penultimate round, Farrell was tiring after his fast start and
collapsed before the scores could be announced.

Crolla, who moves to 25-4, was
awarded the victory by margins of 99-92, 96-94 and 99-93.He will now aim
to fight the winner of Martin Gethin vs Ben Murphy for the British
title in 2013.

Brutal: Crolla (left) beat Farrell on points

Brutal: Crolla (left) beat Farrell on points

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.'