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article imageHalf-way stage in the Snooker Masters' final: Robertson 5-3 ahead

By Tim Sandle     Jan 22, 2012 in Sports
London - At the half-way stage in the best of nineteen frame snooker Master's final, Neil Roberston holds a narrow 5-3 advantage over Shaun Murphy.
The final of snooker's third biggest tournament - the BGC Masters at London's Alexander Place - is tentatively balanced. Australia's Neil Robertson holds a 5 frames to 3 lead over England's Shaun Murphy.
As Digital Journal reported yesterday, both players came through tough but high quality semi-finals on Saturday. Neither player showed any tiredness from the best of 11 frame contests the previous day.
To get to the final. Murphy beat Martin Gould (6-2), Mark Selby (6-2),and current world champion John Higgins (6-4). From the other half of the draw, Robertson overcame Mark Allen (6-3), Mark Williams (6-4) and UK champion Judd Trump (6-3). The Daily Mail notes that this is the first time that either player has reached the final of the Masters, which is one of snooker's longest-running tournaments (now in its 37th year).
The BBC reports that the final thus far has been of an exceptionally high quality, despite an occasional safety play error from both players. The match began very tightly, with Robertson levelling the scores at 2-2 and then the match edged to 3-3. However, in the closing two frames of the day Robertson played very well and compiled frame winning breaks of 72 and 59.
World Snooker's summation indicates that over the eight frames both players scored well. Murphy, the 2005 world champion, had runs of 65, 102, 46 and 53. As a counter-punch, Robertson, the 2010 world champion, put together scoring visits of 103, 72 and 59.
The frame scores are:
61-57, 30-93 (65), 7-116 (102), 120-6 (103), 74-37, 25-60 (53), 72-0 (72), 72-48 (59)
Overall, Murphy has scored the highest throughout the week of the tournament, making seven century breaks so far. Nonetheless, Robertson has made some impressive winning clearances to snatch frames when they had looked like going over to his opponent. If Murphy manages to pull back he will become only the eighth snooker player to complete the ‘triple crown’ of title successes in the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters.
The contest continues this evening (at 8 p.m. GMT). It looks set to continue to be a high quality contest for the £150,000 ($233,000) first prize.
More about snooker, snooker masters, neil robertson, shaun murphy, Sports
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