UK Snooker Championship 2012: Shaun Murphy beats Ali Carter

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Shaun Murphy beats Ali Carter to reach UK Snooker Championship final

Shaun Murphy staged a stunning comeback to defeat Ali Carter 9-8 in the semi-final of the UK Championship.

The 2008 champion had been 5-3 behind after the first session in which Carter made his only century of the match.

At 8-4 up, it looked as though Carter was cruising to victory, but Murphy hit the highest break of the match, a 105, as he won five frames in a row.

He will face either Mark Selby or Mark Davis in his second appearance in the final of the tournament.

Murphy returns to the final of the event, four years after winning it for the first time against Marco Fu.

"I don't feel that Ali lost it - I feel that I won it and I'm really proud," said Murphy afterwards.

"I was four down with five to play. It's pretty straightforward and you know where you stand with that.

"For the semis of the UK Championships, when I was all but dead and buried, that's got to be my best five-frame spell ever.

"I can't believe that I won the match. I felt he was going to paste me 9-4. I'm blown away."

Carter said: "Shaun's played unbelievably from 8-4 behind. I was in complete control. All credit to Shaun, I can't be too hard on myself."

Murphy stated after the narrow 6-5 quarter-final victory over Belgian sensation Luca Brecel that he felt he was "out of the tournament" and at 8-4 down against Carter, he again looked to be heading out.

But the mid-session interval proved to be the turning point as Murphy came out a rejuvenated man, taking five frames on the trot to clinch the most dramatic of wins.

Carter's tough, competitive style and superb safety play left 'The Magician' frustrated early on, however, his high scoring game ultimately materialised.

Essex man Carter capitalised on fortunes that fell his way during the first session and took a 2-0 lead before Murphy restored parity.

Carter went 4-2 in front which included a 101 break, Murphy pulled a frame back but Carter won the last frame of the session with another stroke of luck to take a 5-3 advantage.

Murphy was on the table first again in the final session but could only accumulate 46, and Carter delivered an early blow with a knock of 79.

Carter made 50 in the next, but saw Murphy come to the baize and hit back with a 59 to take the frame.

'The Captain' was in control, and good safety play, coupled with high scoring - this time an 80 break - edged him closer to the winning line.

And he notched another to go within one of victory.

A 76 from Murphy helped him to within three, yet it would need a colossal effort to turn the match around.

A break of 49 reduced the arrears to 8-6 and the comeback was well and truly on when Murphy pulled another frame back with an excellent 105 break.

The remarkable turnaround was complete as Murphy made 78 to force a decider.

Carter had the first chance and made 32, before missing a red with the rest. Murphy replied with 39 before eventually running out of position.

But Carter's poor safety allowed his opponent to pocket a red into the middle, allowing him to prevail into the final.


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