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Murphy Ends Hugill Dream

Shaun MurphyShaun Murphy’s clinical 6-1 victory ended local amateur Ashley Hugill’s hopes of success at the Betway UK Championship.

York’s 21-year-old Hugill was playing in the tournament for the first time and – up against his boyhood idol – had dreamed of causing a first round shock at the £732,000 tournament.

But former World and UK Champion Murphy was in ruthless mood as he swept through with top breaks of 102, 69, 65, 52, 58, 92 and 70. He now meets Zhou Yuelong in the last 64.

“I played well,” said Masters champion Murphy. “I didn’t really give Ashley much chance to get going because, with the new kids, you never know what you are going to get. I remember seeing him when he was a young boy. He spent a bit of time with my old coach and he can definitely play.

“It is good to see another young player from this neck of the woods trying his hand. I hope he goes from strength to strength.”

Hugill said: “I had a couple of chances in the first few frames – missed a black off the spot and a tricky red to the middle. I don’t feel like I played that badly, really.

“It was a lesson in how to win frames in one visit. I need to be more clinical, that’s what I have learned. I think that’s the best anyone has played against me.

“I still enjoyed it and it was good to have home support. I would love to play again, and play in front of big crowds.”

Peter EbdonAli Carter came from 2-1 down to beat Alfie Burden 6-4, winning five of the last seven frames with top runs of 71, 89 and 102.

Joe Perry top scored with 96 in a 6-1 win over James Wattana while Peter Ebdon made a 101 in a 6-0 defeat of Lyu Chenwei.

Jamie Burnett looked sharp in a 6-1 win over Sanderson Lam, compiling runs of 94, 66, 51, 67, 68 and 111. China’s Yu Delu top scored with 71 in a 6-2 win over Michael Wasley.

Mark King became the first top-64 seed to lose on Wednesday when he went down 6-5 to Ross Muir. Scotland’s Muir had a top break of 84 and made a vital 42 in the decider. He said: “I’m delighted to win. I made a few basic errors but I kept my focus and played a good last frame. In the last few weeks I’ve been working on blocking everything out whether it’s a practice match or the UK Championship – I treat every ball the same. It seems to be working so far.”

Jamie Cope battled back from 4-1 down to win 6-5 in a gruelling match against Rory McLeod (Josh Robinson writes).

Stoke’s Cope took the opening frame but McLeod then won four in a row, including a break of 66 in frame three, to build a 4-1 lead.

The Shotgun bounced straight back to go 5-4 in front. McLeod forced a deciding frame but Cope compiled a 75 break, the highest of the match, to seal his last-64 place.

Former Grand Prix and China Open finalist Cope said: “I stuck in there and I played pretty decent stuff in the last three or four frames. I finished it off quite well. Obviously being 4-1 down, I had a long way back. I knew I was in for a battle but I stuck in there and it’s worked out for me.

“To be honest it was close to going 5-1 to him so it was nearly game over but I managed to clear up to go 4-2 and that was a bit of a turning point.

“If I hit a bit of form in the next match then I’ll definitely be looking at quarter finals and onwards but it all depends on the next match.”

The 30-year-old, ranked 79th in the world, now faces the winner of Thursday night’s match between Jimmy White and Stephen Maguire.