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Page last updated at 00:22 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Murphy defeats Fu to clinch title

See Murphy fluke pink to seal UK crown

Shaun Murphy clinched a dramatic 10-9 victory over Marco Fu to win the UK Championship in Telford.

Murphy had led 5-3 at the interval but his opponent from Hong Kong battled back to level at 6-6 and was within sight of the title when 9-8 in front.

But Englishman Murphy held his nerve in a tense and scrappy finish, levelling at 9-9 before clinching the decider thanks to a fluke on the pink.

Murphy, 26, adds the UK crown to the World Championship he won in 2005.

That was the worst match we've both played this tournament but that just shows the pressure we were under

Shaun Murphy
He had been the more consistent of the two finalists, recording breaks of 73, 77, 87 and 99 on the way to victory, but he came up against a resilient opponent.

"It's been a while and I've never felt pressure like that," Murphy told BBC Sport.

"That was worse than the world title in 2005 because it has been such a long time since I was competing for a title.

"That was the worst match we've both played this tournament but that just goes to show the pressure we were under."

Fu, 30, said: "I never really settled and Shaun was winning frames in one visit and I wasn't really scoring enough.

"I was surprised to win nine frames because I didn't play well under pressure and Shaun did."

Winning the title was a superb achievement for Murphy, given his previous form this season.


He arrived in Telford not having won a tournament match all season but beat Martin Gould, Mark Allen, Stephen Lee and Stephen Maguire to reach the final.

His success makes him only the 10th player to have won both the UK and World crowns.

The evening session resulted in Murphy increasing his lead to 6-3 in the opening frame and after both players missed chances of match-winning breaks in the next, Fu finally potted brown, blue and pink to take it and stay in touch.

Fu cut the deficit further in the 11th frame after Murphy failed to escape a snooker on the brown and then he levelled the match after Murphy potted the cue ball after sinking a red.

Three big breaks helped Murphy win the first two frames after the mid-session interval to go 8-6 up but once again Fu hit back - making the score 8-8 after taking three chances to get out of a snooker in frame 16.

Fu finally went ahead for the first time in the match in the next frame but Murphy was not to be denied and won the last two frames to take the title and move back up to third in the world rankings, having slipped to sixth.

Fu, who began the season ranked 14th, climbs to number six.

Final result:

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 10-9 Marco Fu (HK)

74-38 48-56 99-0 (99) 17-103 (102) 70-4 73-0 (73) 0-143 (69, 74) 66-31 77-1 (77) 51-66 52-74 (47 59) 45-58 109-0 (54) 87-0 (87) 39-73 40-73 23-93 69-1 (69) 69-24

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see also
UK Championship final score
17 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Murphy beats Maguire in UK semi
20 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Fu defeats Carter to make final
19 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Carter squeezes through to semis
18 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Maguire defends 'friend' Burnett
19 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Ding downs Davis to make last 16
15 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Hendry & Selby sent crashing out
14 Dec 08 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan romps to UK final win
16 Dec 07 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
16 Sep 08 |  Snooker

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