Gdynia Open title triumph for Shaun

Sunday, February 09, 2014

SHAUN Murphy returned to the winner's circle after a thrilling day at the Gdynia Open in Poland.

After playing 23 frames on Sunday, Shaun secured his first title since landing an invitational tournament in Brazil two and a half years ago.

He beat Fergal O'Brien 4-1 in the final, signing off the success with a sizzling century break in front of a packed house who roared him home.

It completed a magical 12 hours for Shaun, who started the day by firing a 147 in beating Jamie Jones 4-2.

That was his third career maximum and second inside a month after notching one at the Championship League, Crondon Park.

The 147 was far from the only highlight of Shaun's day. In the quarter final he produced some thrilling stuff in edging out Steven Maguire 4-3 - perhaps the match of the tournament.

Shaun was too strong for Matt Selt in the semi-finals, too. He opened up a 2-0 lead before his good friend pulled one back. But Shaun stepped on the gas pedal and surged to a 4-1 success.

He never trailed, either, in the final. A tense first frame went the way of Murphy, who then extended his advantage with a run of 75.

For a time it looked as if another maximum may be on the cards in frame three as Shaun took blacks with the first eight reds. But a forcing shot for a ninth straight black just failed to drop.

Not that he needed to worry. He took the frame with a 63 to add to his 65 and created a position of real control in the match.

Credit to O'Brien, who pulled one back in the next but Shaun saved his best to last, knocking in a superb 103 to seal the tournament.

Shaun said: "I've been practising really hard for a long time without seeing the results. My manager and coach have stuck with me, telling me to keep working and that it will come.

"Sometimes, I've not believed them - but they were right. It has been a good weekend."

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