Maplin Electronics UK Championship 2008: Murphy closing in on final berth

Shaun Murphy takes a commanding 6-2 lead into tonight’s final session against Stephen Maguire, though hopefully we will see some more free-flowing snooker from both then…

Shaun Murphy 6-2 Stephen Maguire

2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy looks good to reach his first ever UK final in Telford as he leads the number two seed Stephen Maguire 6-2 after the first eight frames.

Murphy, who lost to Maguire at this stage last year, started off well by taking the first frame, though the standard shown by both players was far from top class for the next three frames in particular. After Stephen had missed a simple pink in the second, Shaun could have made it 2-0 but he could not take advantage and it was soon 1-1. From here though Stephen’s form seemed to become gradually worse and Shaun, though not playing great himself, was the more composed of the two players and took the next four frames to lead 5-1 and threaten to run away with the match.

Stephen though came out in frame seven and an excellent long red early on set the tone for the rest of the frame, an excellent plan leading to a frame-winning run of 46. He badly needed the next also to keep himself in touch at 5-3 and when Shaun carelessly lost position when seemingly clearing up, looked like he might be able to do it. Unfortunately for the Scot though, a risky red to the right middle stayed out and Shaun didn’t need another chance as he secured a 6-2 lead after the first session.

Shaun Murphy 6-2 Stephen Maguire 86(40)-21, 58-77(46), 66-26, 77(61)-1, 89(85)-1, 83(59)-41, 0-60(46), 56-0