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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 20:03 GMT
Murphy survives Malta Cup scare
Shaun Murphy
Murphy was initially outwitted by his teenage opponent
World champion Shaun Murphy survived a scare against Northern Irish teenager Mark Allen to clinch his place in the second round of the Malta Cup.

Murphy lost the opening two frames to the former world amateur champion but bounced back for a 5-2 win.

Afterwards Murphy said: "It was a lottery out there - the cushions were giving off really strange bounces and there was bad contact every other shot.

"In the end it really made it hard to play your normal game."

It was an average and heavily defensive performance from the 23-year-old, whose highest break of the match was 54.

Steve Davis, however, missed out on a place in the second round when he succumbed 5-4 to Finnish number one Robin Hull.

Davis was left needing five snookers to have a chance of winning the deciding frame but stumbled on the last of them when Hull fluked a red.

I knew it would be tough because he's having a really good season
Ken Doherty on beating Joe Swail
Jimmy White's hopes of avoiding relegation from the elite top 16 were dealt another blow as he lost 5-2 to Barry Hawkins.

Hawkins trailed 1-0 but soon levelled before storming 4-1 ahead.

With thoughts on a maximum 147, White missed the 10th red in frame six and Hawkins could only respond with a 60 break.

But the 26-year-old did not dwell on his mistake and quickly clinched a place in the last 16 with an 81 break in the seventh frame to seal a clash with Hull.

Peter Ebdon was another early big-name exit in Portomaso, coming off second best in a 5-4 scoreline to Stuart Bingham despite having held a 3-0 lead.

Another former world champion Ken Doherty beat Belfast's Joe Swail 5-3 to seal a place in the last 16.

The Irishman, 36, compiled two century breaks as he avenged defeats to Swail in this season's Grand Prix and the Irish Professional Championship final.

"It was nice to get one over on Joe because he's had the better of our meetings lately," said Doherty. "I knew it would be tough because he's having a really good season.

"It hurt when he beat me in the Irish final but I don't look at this as revenge because he's such a good friend."

Meanwhile, world number 20 Mark King overcame fellow Englishman Ian McCulloch 5-2 to set up a meeting with Stephen Maguire.

And two-time Malta winner John Parrott, went down 5-2 against Graeme Dott, who ended a run of seven consecutive defeats in ranking tournaments.

He now plays Shaun Murphy in the last 16.

Malta Cup scores
01 Feb 06 |  Snooker
Hendry slumps to Wembley defeat
17 Jan 06 |  Snooker

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