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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Murphy sends Small crashing out
By Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Shaun Murphy
The victory over Small was Murphy's first win at The Crucible
Qualifier Shaun Murphy gave an assured performance to beat Chris Small 10-5 in the first round.

Murphy, resuming the match 5-4 up, produced all the best snooker as he blew away the out-of-form Small.

Taking five of the six frames, with breaks of 55, 84 and an impressive 100, Murphy had too much firepower.

Small has been struggling all season with a spinal condition and his 11th straight defeat looks set to drop him well down the world rankings.

Murphy admitted he was relieved to end his barren run at The Crucible after claiming his first victory at the famous venuen. at the third attempt.

"It was nice to finally get the monkey off my back," said Murphy.

"I really felt ready for this match and it's just the end result of a lot of hard work.

I could quite easily have picked up all the balls, thrown them all over the room, snapped my cue and walked out
Chris Small
"To take on someone like Chris who is very tactically strong and go head-to-head with him was very pleasing for me."

Small was hugely frustrated by his latest defeat of a thoroughly miserable season.

He said: "I could quite easily have picked up all the balls, thrown them all over the room, snapped my cue and walked out. That's how I felt."

Hampered by poor health this season, the Scot claimed he may not return to the circuit next year.

"I was absolutely gone - I've never felt like this in my whole career. I don't know if I'll be back," he added.

C SMALL (Sco) 5-10 S MURPHY (Eng)

0-75 (75) 22-60 70-23 63-33 12-69 (62) 69-9 (56) 124-0 (124) 9-78 12-92 (92) 28-59 74-67 (Re-spotted black, Murphy 55) 1-84 (84) 0-105 (100) 14-59 32-80 (57)

Interview: Scotland's Chris Small

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