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Shaun Murphy
"I was nervous because I'd done so well to come back"
 real 14k

Stuart Bingham
"The balls ran well for him"
 real 14k

Friday, 17 November, 2000, 02:35 GMT
Murphy battles to claim crown
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham undone by the battling Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy performed magnificently to overcome Stuart Bingham and claim the Benson and Hedges Snooker Championship crown.

Murphy became one of the youngest champions in the 11-year-old hitsory of the tournament after staging a superb comeback in Malvern to book his place in next year's B&H Masters.

The 18-year-old recovered from 5-2 down to eventually beat Bingham 9-7 and is by far the greatest victory of his brief professional career.

Murphy, who does not even play on the game's main circuit, received a first-prize cheque for 5,000 and is also guaranteed 10,500 for his appearance at the Masters next February.

Small consolation

For Bingham, the world number 43 from Basildon, he picked up 3,000 but that was of little consolation with so much at stake to the winner.

There seemed no way back for the Irthlingborough teenager after a disappointing opening session, but he showed great maturity to claw his back into contention.

The 10th frame was just one of the close frames that tipped the balance Murphy's way. From 54-0 down he came back with a superb 63 break.


I didn't come here expecting to win the tournament but now I have it's a dream come true
  Shaun Murphy

He eventually levelled at 6-6 with a break of 99 and began to grow in confidence.

He took the next two frames to lead 8-6 but lost the seventh to Bingham's half century.

The 16th frame was a hugely tense affair and when Bingham missed the final blue using the rest, Murphy stepped in to pot two of the last three colours for his memorable victory.

"I didn't come here expecting to win the tournament but now I have it's a dream come true," enthused Murphy.

"I've been to Wembley many times to watch and it looks a fantastic place to play. It will be awesome and I can't wait to get there."

A downcast Bingham said: "It was really all or nothing to the winner.

"I felt more nervous today than I did all week because there was so much at stake."

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See also:

16 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
Murphy too strong for Davis
13 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
Williams targets grand slam
13 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
A bright future for snooker
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