Maplin Electronics UK Championship 2008: Ding holds off plucky Davis

The final four spots in the last 16 were up for grabs late this afternoon, click below to who went through…

Ding Junhui 9-6 Steve Davis

Ding Junhui defeated Steve Davis 9-6 tonight in a match that in reality was closer than that scoreline would suggest.

Resuming at 4-4, Davis should probably have taken the opening two frames but ended up losing both against an opponent who was struggling to really find his form. Having gone 6-4 ahead though, Ding began to grow in confidence and breaks of 70 and 80 in the next couple of frames appeared to put the match beyond Steve’s reach.

Having played quite cautiously up until this point, Steve then though seemed to just go for it, and his strong long potting throughout the match continued as he made a couple of nice breaks to make it 8-5. Frame 16 was incredibly tight, but it again Davis managed to sneak it and you could see that he was up for it as Ding began to look increasingly nervous.

This is as far as the comeback was to go however as Ding had the first opportunity in the next frame and though he did not seal it in one visit, a couple of missing from Davis when attempting to go into the pack proved to be his undoing.

Next up for Ding is John Higgins in what appears to be one of the standout ties of the last 16…

Shaun Murphy 9-7 Martin Gould

2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy finally won a ranking match this season with a 9-7 win over Martin Gould, though he was made to fight for it after a terrific comeback from his opponent.

From 5-3 up overnight Shaun appeared to be full of confidence early on, taking the first two frames to lead 7-3. Martin though suddenly found his form and perhaps free from pressure, went on a remarkable run, taking four frames in a row to level the match at 7-7!

Murphy though responded like the champion he is to make breaks of 76 and 43 in the last two frames to win through and book a match with Mark Allen tomorrow. Having endured a nightmare season so far, hopefully from Shaun’s point of view he can turn things around now and show the form that we all know he can…

Mark Allen 9-2 Stuart Bingham

Mark Allen wasted no time in completing a 9-2 victory over Stuart Bingham tonight, taking the opening three frames of today’s session to book a tie with Shaun Murphy in the next round.

It will be interesting to see whether this can be the tournament where Mark really shows what a talent he is, particularly on the BBC as he has rarely played to his best on those events, particularly away from the Crucible. Given the quarter of the draw that he is in at the moment, I have a sneaky feeling that we could see him in the semis. Time will tell.

Ali Carter 9-2 Ian McCulloch

Having finished at 6-2 last night, Ali Carter received a bye today as Ian McCulloch became the second player to withdraw from this tournament due to illness, the fourth in total if you include the qualifiers.

Ali now goes on to face Peter Ebdon in a rematch of their Crucible quarter-final.


Shaun Murphy 9-7 Martin Gould 50-57, 99(52)-23, 89-41, 68-11, 49-60, 59(50)-66(respot black), 94(45)-0, 78-15, 76(57)-39, 39-114(51), 0-78(58), 12-67, 45-77(59), 77(76)-1, 92(43)-5
Ding Junhui 9-6 Steve Davis 75(54)-18, 8-76(67), 41-80, 51-78(67), 104(100)-0, 73(73)-38, 130(130)-0, 37-72, 58-41, 62-61, 77(70)-8, 81(80)-0, 4-94(48,45), 54-70(47), 90-1
Mark Allen 9-2 Stuart Bingham 92(40)-32, 58-46, 30-92(92), 104(100)-28, 64(55)-34, 69(54)-57(57), 0-69(44), 68(67)-29, 97(76)-11, 72-5
Ali Carter 9-2 Ian McCulloch 1-80(52), 81(81)-10, 76(51)-37, 90(86)-0, 8-61, 93-66(48), 82(63)-21, 55-51(46) Ian McCulloch retired ill