Royal London Watches Grand Prix 2008: Adrian guns down Murphy to earn Davis clash

Tuesday evening and the final two last 32 matches are coming to a conclusion. Click below to read what is going on…

Adrian Gunnell 5-3 Shaun Murphy

In what is probably the shock of the tournament so far, Telford’s Adrian Gunnell recorded a terrific 5-3 victory over world number three Shaun Murphy tonight.

It was a strange match as Murphy did not look particularly poor or out of sorts, and Gunnell did not play exceptionally well, but it just wasn’t Shaun’s night. Gunnell did score well when left in though and started well with a break of 74 to take the opening frame, before taking the second on the colours after both he and Shaun had previous chances to win. Although Shaun hit back with a break of 61, Gunnell came right back with a 58 to go into the interval 3-1 up.

The next frame turned out to be the longest frame of the tournament so far and probably the most important of the match as they went toe to toe for over fifty minutes. In the end it needed a fluke on the blue to settle it as Gunnell then knocked in the pink to move 4-1 up.

Murphy then showed why he is one of the best players in the world to put some pressure on Gunnell with breaks of 75 and 126, but with his first real chance in frame eight, Gunnell built up a big enough lead that Shaun never looked like recovering from.

This is a fantastic result for Adrian who is currently looking to break into the top 32 for the first time in his career. Into the last 16 of an event for the fourth time he will now meet six-times world champion Steve Davis in what should be an interesting tie tomorrow.

Shaun meanwhile has a lot of thinking to do as his winless run this season goes on. Down to number four provisionally, with the likes of Ali Carter, Joe Perry and Ryan Day marching on in the tournament, he is likely to slip even further after this event.

Shaun Murphy 3-5 Adrian Gunnell 20-106(74), 54(45)-71(44), 86(61)-0, 29-71(58), 57-73, 76(75)-0, 126(126)-0, 19-80

John Parrott 5-3 Mark King

Completing a good first round for the BBC pundits, former world champion John Parrott joined Steve Davis in the last 16 as he ground out a 5-3 win over Mark King tonight.

It was an amazing performance from John in truth as he played some of the most negative matchplay snooker that I have ever seen, though fair play to him because it worked brilliantly. Refusing to take on anything too difficult, he got Mark King well out of his comfort zone and edged a number of scrappy frames to eventually take the match 5-3.

Having taken the opening frame, King should really have made it 2-0 and the match might have been a different story, but as it was he just could not shake Parrott off. He went 2-1 up with a break of 70 but JP ensured that they went in level at the interval by taking a crucial fourth frame on a re-spotted black.

The next two frames were shared as Parrot began to grind even more, but the decisive moment probably came when Mark miscued on a brown to not only leave himself only able to tie the frame, but damaging the tip of his cue. Parrott eventually took it 4-3 and then there was a second interval as Mark made the necessary repairs to his tip. It was all to be in vain however as John took frame eight to seal a 5-3 win.

John next plays Ali Carter in the next round and it will be very interesting to see if he remains quite as negative in that match. While it might not be easy on the eye though, you can’t argue with the result as he moved into the last 16. Indeed this result is very important for John as having missed the Shanghai Masters due to a charity commitment, he has fallen down the provisional rankings and this is just the boost he needed to make up for the points lost there.

Mark King 3-5 John Parrott 76(51)-47(42), 54(53)-71(50), 70(70)-0, 60-67(rsb), 71(61)-41(41), 36-65(49), 6-57, 6-64