World Championship, day three: Jones upsets Murphy, Maguire and Stevens book last-16 spot
Crucible-debutant Jamie Jones denied the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy the right to continue his snooker journey by a 10-8 scoreline. The Welshman recovered from being 7-5 down and managed to win four consecutive frames to overcome his opponent’s advantage and experience.
Also with a place booked in the last 16, are Stephen Maguire, who ended Belgium’s Luca Brecel run by 10-5, and Matthew Stevens who flew undisturbed over Marco Fu, 10-3.
After David Gilbert and Cao Yupeng’s stunning victories from the other day it came down to Jamie Jones to cause another important upset, eliminating Shaun Murphy.
The first part of the match was very balanced, the players sharing frames and ending with Murphy’s slight advantage of 5-4; but as the final session began things started to change.
A break of 73 from Murphy was turning the one-frame gap into a two one, although Jones was careful enough to restore the previous difference by winning the next frame.
One more time Murphy tried to speed things up, a break of 101 putting him in charge at 7-5, only that this time his opponent’s reaction was a totally different one.
Runs of 68, 38, 136 and 36 were winning Jones four frames on a row, sending him one step closer to a place in the next round, at 9-7.
Although Murphy managed to prolong the suspense and grab the next frame, the 24-year-old lad from Neath was ending the match after hitting small but valuable runs of 24 and 26.
Stephen Maguire obtained a clear victory of 10-5 in front of a very eager-to-compete Luca Brecel, the first session ending on a 6-3 result after the Belgian player managed to recover from an initial 4-0 lead.
Even though a comeback into the match was a hard task for the youngest player to qualify for the World Championship, Brecel won two more frames during the last session before Maguire’s breaks of 101 and 94 put an end to it.
The last battle of cues of the day was given between Matthew Stevens and Marco Fu and could be easily described as a one-way-traffic with the Welshman winning it 10-3.
Stevens took a great start and seemed to be heading towards performing the second whitewash in the history of The Crucible as breaks of 67, 81, 67, 66 and 55 were establishing an 8-0 lead.
But just before the first session was over Fu managed to win his first frame with a top break of 62 and continued with another one, this time a 65, as the second one kicked off.
However, a few minutes later despite Fu’s desperate attempts to come back, Stevens sealed the victory to book himself a place in the Last 16.