O’Sullivan and Murphy set up repeat league final

Tonight’s Premier League final will again be contested between defending champion Shaun Murphy and multiple champion Ronnie O’Sullivan after both recorded comfortable semi-final wins last night…

Early on however it appeared as though the outcome may be far different for Shaun as looking slightly out of sorts, he lost the opening two frames of his semi-final clash with Marco Fu, the man who had already defeated him in the league stage of the event.

This time however it was to be a different story as Murphy suddenly found what he acknowledged to be almost his best snooker to take the next five frames with breaks of 103, 97, 81, 69 and 68. At one point he had a pot success rate of 98% and incredibly Marco could not pot a single ball during those frames!

For Ronnie O’Sullivan however his path was somehow even more straightforward as aside from the second and final frames, opponent Neil Robertson was similarly put to the sword. Breaks of 139, 102, 82, 61 and a clearance of 77 to the final black to seal the match demonstrated once again just how comfortable he is in this competition.

Are Ronnie and Shaun the two best players in the world playing under the shot clock? O’Sullivan certainly, Murphy…quite possibly. I commented on how having watched him live a couple of weeks ago in Grimsby he looked absolutely comfortable with the format and unhurried by the time restriction, unlike Mark Williams and Neil Robertson for example. Having won the event last year and now again reached the final, I think he has as good a claim as anyone to be considered one of the top players in this set-up.

Despite that however, O’Sullivan has to be the clear favourite to take the title tonight, not only because of his record in the competition but also the fact that he appears to be playing as well as he has done for a couple of years. One to watch for the UK Championship I suspect, but first things first he has this final to win and you can see him try to do that from 7:30pm on SkySports4 tonight.


Marco Fu 2 – 5 Shaun Murphy
83 (83) – 0, 70 (45) – 5, 0 – 116 (103), 0 – 81 (81), 0 – 97 (97), 0 – 97 (69), 0 – 72 (68)

Neil Robertson 1 – 5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
34 (34) – 74 (61), 91 (65) – 8, 0 – 90 (82), 0 – 139 (139), 0 – 102 (102), 52 (51) – 78 (77)