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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Rocket wins award and beats Swail
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Joe Swail in the third round of the Preston Grand Prix on the day he was named Highland Spring Player of the Year.

It is the second season in a row the Snooker Writers' Association have given him the award, and the third in all.

O'Sullivan, who won five major titles in 2004-05, beat Ulsterman Swail 5-2.

In other matches, Barry Pinches beat Jimmy White 5-4, Barry Hawkins beat Jamie Cope 5-4 and Michael Holt beat Andrew Norman by the same score.

O'Sullivan, 29, said of his latest accolade: "It's nice to get awards but the only awards I want are titles. They probably voted for me because I give them a story."

Ding Jun Hui became the youngest ever winner of an SWA award after being named Wheels in Motion Newcomer of the Year.

The 18-year-old delighted a television audience of 100m in his home country when beating Stephen Hendry in the final of the China Open.

Defeat for Murphy

Shaun Murphy's World Championship victory earned him the Highland Spring Achievement of the Year prize.

But Murphy suffered a shock defeat in the evening session in Preston.

He went down 5-4 to Essex potter Stuart Bingham despite having led 3-1.

Murphy blamed the defeat on bad fortune and pointed to a number of bad kicks at crucial moments.

"To lose is disappointing," he said. "But I've said for a while someone needs to look at kicks.

"I believe those kicks tonight have cost me a place in the quarter-finals."

Murphy was also unhappy at not playing on one of the televised tables, saying: "I thought my days of playing in cubicles were numbered - but I was wrong."

Higgins ousts Davis

Hendry overcame a scare to overcome Irishman Gerard Greene 5-4.

The all-conquering Scotsman lost the opening two frames and was lucky not to go 3-0 down but escaped to level at 2-2.

The pair then exchanged frames before Hendry sealed the 5-4 win with a 50 break in the deciding frame after Greene missed chances to complete victory.

John Higgins had no trouble beating old favourite Steve Davis.

The Scot had breaks of 78, 47, 102 and 55 en route to victory, while a 74 break from Davis secured him his only frame of the match.

Interview: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Interview: Barry Pinches

Interview: World Champion Shaun Murphy

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