Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Murphy Crashes out as Rocket Takes off; SNOOKER

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Murphy Crashes out as Rocket Takes off; SNOOKER

Article excerpt

WORLD No 3 Shaun Murphy was a notable first round casualty at the totesport.com Welsh Open as Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Maguire and Stephen Hendry advanced.

While O'Sullivan crushed Stuart Bingham 5-1 and Hendry won by the same scoreline against Dave Harold, Maguire scraped past Dominic Dale 5-4 and Murphy was edged out by home favourite Matthew Stevens in another final-frame decider.

Stevens labelled himself "possibly the worst front-runner ever" after letting a 2-0 lead slip, and had to come from 51-0 down in the deciding frame, a superb plant sparking a match-winning clearance of 75 to set up a clash with Mark Allen.

Stevens added: "Sometimes I need a kick up the backside to get the adrenalin going. After that I'm pleased to have got through.

"In the circumstances, it was one of my best clearances. I potted a tough plant and was pleased with the rest of the break."

Ryan Day added further home cheer when he fought back from 3-1 down to beat Maltese veteran Tony Drago 5-4 in another tense finish. …

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