Peter Ebdon made a stunning total clearance in the deciding frame to beat Shaun Murphy 4-3 in the first round of the 888.com World Grand Prix in Llandudno.
A clash of two former World Champions ended in defeat for Masters winner Murphy as 44-year-old Ebdon went through to a last 16 clash with Stephen Maguire.
The first four frames were shared, then Ebdon made an excellent 57 clearance to go 3-2 ahead. He had chances to seal victory in frame six, but missed the final brown after fluking the green. A relieved Murphy cleared from brown to black to force the decider. But Ebdon rose to the occasion with a superb 136.
“I don’t honestly know where that break came from in the final frame,” said Ebdon. “I’m really delighted to win though. I found a little bit of something from somewhere because I would have been so disappointed to have lost.
“It meant an awful lot to me to win today because I’m missing a school play performance from two of my children, Tristan and Ruby, in Dubai. To be perfectly honest, I would rather have been there to watch them because they’ve been rehearsing for the past three months. Maybe I was trying a little bit too hard early on because it meant so much to me. And I know it’ll mean a lot to them as well. Maybe thinking of them spurred me on.”
Joe Perry stormed to a 4-0 win over Ben Woollaston with a top break of 139, a contender for the £5,000 high break prize. Mark Davis saw off Marco Fu 4-1 with top runs of 102 and 109.
Ding Junhui’s miserable run of form continued as he lost 4-1 to Ricky Walden, whose top break was 49. Walden, who lives 40 miles from Llandudno in Chester , now meets Mark Williams or Ryan Day.