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Monday, 23 April 2018

World Championships Day 3 Round Up

Day Three at the championship and another big name bites the dust,but two of the dark horses for the title both progressed.

Shaun Murphy became the third seed to bow out of this years championship, losing out in a decider to Welshman Jamie Jones.

Jones had announced himself on the games biggest stage here  in 2012 with a debut first round victory over Murphy & history was to repeat itself here,but only after a titanic battle over two enthralling sessions.

Out of the heat of the battle when he reflects on this match Murphy will look back on a couple of occasions where he seemed to be taking control of the match only for his opponent to fight his way back into it.

The first of these was in yesterdays first session, where he was pegged back to 5-4 from 5-2 and the other was today, where having shared the opening two frames, Murphy hit top gear,rolling in back to back centuries to lead 8-5 to the interval.

If at this stage we had not had an interval he may have closed things out, but as we see so often, that 15 minute break can change things & it certainly did here for Jones,who found some scoring of his own to take the next three to level at 8-8.

Murphy did stop the rot to edge ahead again at 9-8,but a superb 124 from Jones levelled it again at 9-9 and he controlled the decider to seal a famous 10-9 victory.Next for him will be a last 16 clash with Kyren Wilson.

In other matches played to a finish ,Barry Hawkins celebrated his 39th birthday with a hard fought 10-7 victory over Stuart Carrington

"One for the purists" is the kindest way to describe this one as a morning session pulled ashore a frame early, turned into a late night slog,but it was Hawkins who  pulled it together when things started to wrong from 7-3 up to 8-7 & he produced some of his best snooker in the last two frames to see out a 10-7 win.

There were no such worries for Mark Allen,,who will be delighted to have seen off  a potentially tricky opponent Liam Highfield with some ease to set up a round 2 clash with Mark Selbys conqueror Joe Perry.

Starting out this morning with a 6-3 deficit Highfield needed a quick start and that's what he got with a fine 99,but when a tight second went to Allen,the writing was on the wall & the man from Northern Ireland quickly closed out a 10-5 win.

Elsewhere in matches that started out today,Ding Junhui survived an early scare against Xiao Guodong coming from 2-0 down to hold a 6-3 overnight lead, which is also the score by which Ricky Walden leads Luca Brecel.

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