SHAUN Murphy was left ruing a host of wasted chances as reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan takes a commanding 6-2 lead in their quarter-final tie at the World Snooker Championship.
Urmston-based Murphy took the first two frames of the last eight clash but squandered several golden opportunities as O’Sullivan, despite not being at his best, won six on the spin.
But the game could not have started better for 2005 world champion Murphy, keeping the Rocket in his seat at the Crucible in Sheffield to open up with a break of 101.
He capitalised on mistakes to bag the next frame with runs of 24 and 59 and was 43 points to the good in the next encounter, before it all started going pear-shaped for Murphy.
O’Sullivan clawed his way back into the encounter and following a poor snooker attempt from Murphy, mopped up the colours to start his comeback.
A succession of missed pots from both men peppered the fourth frame, but Murphy again was the man to succumb, letting O’Sullivan in on the last red to level the scores.
Ominously for Murphy, O’Sullivan seemed refreshed after the mid-session interval – making light work of the fifth frame after rolling in a 72 break.
Then, 38 points up next time out, world No.5 Murphy inexplicably missed a black on its spot as O’Sullivan took control to win another frame.
And five-time champion O’Sullivan hit top gear to finish the session off with a bang, racking up breaks of 94 and a brilliant 136 to assume all the momentum in the best-of-25 clash.
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