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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
Qualifier Murphy wins world title
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Shaun Murphy celebrates winning the world snooker title
Shaun Murphy defeated Matthew Stevens 18-16 to become the first qualifier since Terry Griffiths in 1979 to win the World Snooker Championship.

Murphy, who went into the tournament as a 150-1 outsider, began the final session 12-11 behind.

But the Rotherham-based player showed maturity beyond his 22 years, making a 107 break and six over 50 to win the match in the 34th frame.

Murphy takes home a 250,000 first prize, while Stevens picks up 125,000.

The new world champion was understandably ecstatic after the shock victory.

It's an honour to be the last Embassy champion
Shaun Murphy

"My coach Steve Prest and I did a drive-by The Crucible before the qualifiers at Prestatyn," said Murphy.

"We both thought that it would be great to play here never mind lift the trophy.

"I'm so glad I got over the line. I couldn't pull away from Matthew, no matter how well I played.

"It's an honour to be the last Embassy champion."

Embassy, the long-time sponsors of the World Championship, are ending their relationship with the event due to the ban on tobacco advertising.

Matthew Stevens contemplates a shot during the World Snooker final, with the trophy in the background
I'll come back next year and hopefully win it
Matthew Stevens

Stevens had begun the match the stronger, 5-3 up after the first session.

The next session drifted from the sublime to the ugly on many occasions.

The sublime consisted of a 125 break from Murphy, while the match became dull on a number of occasions, with missed pots and slow play.

The Rotherham player was leading Sunday's last frame until five successive fouls handed Stevens a lifeline which he took gladly.

Breaks of over 50 in the opening two frames of Monday's first session brought Murphy back into contention.

He then won three of the next five, although Stevens won the last of those to ensure he held a 12-11 lead going into the final session.

After Murphy's ton in the 24th frame, a 55 saw him take the lead for the first time since winning the opening frame.

His Welsh opponent fought back with a 95, before two successive half-centuries breaks gave Murphy a 15-13 lead.

Stevens fought back well to make it 16-16, before Murphy made a 97 and 83 for victory.

M STEVENS (Wal) 16-18 S MURPHY (Eng)

30-67 98-0 (54) 103-20 (60) 55-68 65-29 65-22 34-76 (56) 56-46 58-53 (52 Murphy) 70-38 0-125 (125) 6-79 (66) 105-24 (80) 86-5 (86) 9-103 (84) 68-58 (41) 22-78 (51) 11-84 (56) 64-5 60-80 (60 Stevens, 80 Murphy)

0-137 (137) 57-64 88-20 (52) 1-131 (107) 35-72 (55) 95-0 (95) 4-81 (64) 37-68 (68) 83-1 (68) 35-85 (64) 124-0 (124) 71-1 (52) 0-97 (97) 28-83 (83)

Interview: 2005 World snooker champion Shaun Murphy

Interview: Runner-up Matthew Stevens

TRACKER World Champ final
03 May 05 |  ssi

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