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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Williams crashes out
Mark Williams
Mark Williams became the highest-ranked casualty at the Preston Grand Prix when he was beaten 5-2 by Michael Judge.

The world number two, winner of the event in 2003, was well below his best and his day was summed up when he lost a 64-0 lead in the fifth frame.

"I'm nowhere near the player I was a year ago," said Welshman Williams.

"And I don't know if I'm going to get that form back. I'm trying, but it's hard to see where I'm going to get the form to win titles again."

He added: "To be honest I've played a lot worse than that in the past and lost.

"Michael played some good solid frames and after going 3-2 down I didn't really get much of a chance."

Paul Hunter conjured up glimpses of his best form to sweep aside Welshman Darren Morgan.

Rules are rules but I've never heard of anything like that happening before
Stephen Maguire

The Englishman made 108 to take a 3-1 lead to the mid-session interval and wrapped up the match with a superb 127.

"A few weeks ago in practice I was playing so well and at 3-3 I began to get frustrated that I'd peaked too soon," said the world number four.

"I managed to put the thought out of my head but it was hard because this was almost my first match for five months."

Stephen Maguire also reached the last 32 by beating Shaun Murphy 5-2 -despite being docked a frame before the match had even started.

The 23-year-old Glaswegian arrived on time but realised he had left his chalk in his dressing room.

He asked Dutch referee Johan Oomen for permission to leave the arena, but on his return, Maguire was informed by tournament director Mike Ganley that he had lost a frame.

Had Maguire taken a shot and then asked to go for his chalk there would have been no penalty.

"Rules are rules but I've never heard of anything like that happening before," said the world number 24.

"But I was really pumped up after that. And because it was the first match of the season and a tough draw, I couldn't afford to let my head drop."


GRAND PRIX 2004



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