Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Murphy sees of nerves and Gould

World number six Shaun Murphy revealed he overcame a bout of nerves when turning on the style to shatter the dream for local fancy Martin Gould at the BGC Masters on Monday night.

Alexandra Palace, home of the PDC World Darts Championship, is staging snooker's blue chip invitation-only event for the first time but Murphy took to the famous old venue like a duck to water in a convincing 6-2 victory.

He closed with a sensational 139 total clearance to emerge as the early the front-runner for the £15,000 reward for the biggest break of the event and is now through to the last eight at Ally Pally to face Mark Selby or Stephen Lee.

Gould was also quickly into his stride, winning the first frame with breaks of 41 and 60, and was in the box seat to secure the second only for Murphy to win it on the colours in what proved a major turning point in the match. Those following the best snooker betting odds will have been surprised by the way Gould let it slip.

Breaks of 107, 59 and 82 then saw former World and UK Champion Murphy surge 4-1 ahead in north London.

Middlesex cue-man Gould, runner-up in the Player Tour Championship Grand Finals, rallied briefly but his joy was short-lived as Murphy rattled in 89 and 139 to clinch the result.

"I've been scoring well recently and I'm in good shape," he said. "It was a great atmosphere, a great crowd here. I've been here to watch the darts before and the atmosphere is electric in this place."

Gould added: "There aren't many players who have won the World Championship, even less have won the World and the UK, and there's a very small group of players who have won the three major championships. This is the only one that's eluded me. I've never got to the semi-finals so maybe new venue, new start."

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