Maplin Electronics UK Championship 2008: Murphy takes narrow lead into evening session

Shaun Murphy takes a 5-3 lead into tonight’s evening session against Marco Fu, but the world number 14 from Hong Kong looks like pushing him all the way…

Shaun Murphy 5-3 Marco Fu

Former world champion Shaun Murphy looks well-placed to add the UK crown to his trophy haul tonight as he takes a 5-3 lead into the final session against Marco Fu.

As can often happen, both players appeared to be very nervous early on and the first couple of frames were error-strewn affairs, taking 28 and 41 minutes respectively to be completed. Having split them to level it at 1-1, the match then took off though as Shaun knocked in a 99 break before Marco made his 8th century of the week, and the 163rd of his career to go into the interval at 2-2.

After the break it was a similar story, but it was Shaun Murphy who managed to move two frames ahead for the first time in the match at 4-2 and really put Marco under the cosh.

Marco though responded well with a 69 in frame seven and despite not coming on the frame ball red, took advantage of a missed long-range pot from Shaun to move to within one frame again.

The final frame of the session was always going to be key and it showed as first Shaun missed a great chance to win it with one visit by missing the pink, before Marco did exactly the same soon after. Eventually Shaun got the balls he needed and despite a great effort from Marco to get a snooker back on the colours, took the frame and an important lead into tonight.

Still, all is to play for tonight and as Marco Fu has shown all week by coming back from 5-3 down against both Barry Hawkins and Ali Carter already, he is more than capable of mounting a recovery…


Marco Fu 3-5 Shaun Murphy
First session: 34-74, 56-48, 0-99(99), 103(102)-17, 4-70(38), 0-73(73), 143(69,74)-0, 31-62(49)