World Snooker Championship 2018: Jamie Jones recovers to beat Shaun Murphy 10-9

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Jones stuns Murphy - five best shots
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April - 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

World number 51 Jamie Jones recovered from 8-5 down to beat number eight seed Shaun Murphy 10-9 in the first round of the World Championship.

Jones trailed 5-4 overnight but quickly levelled, only for 2005 champion Murphy to score a 59 and two stylish tons in a three-frame burst.

Welshman Jones rallied to make it 8-8, notching two breaks of 50-plus.

Although Murphy pinched an error-strewn 17th frame, Jones responded with a 124 clearance and then took the decider.

Jones feels pressure

Jones, who plays Englishman Kyren Wilson in round two, missed his first opportunity in the 19th frame, but got over the line after being gifted a second opening when Murphy missed a simple red.

"I played really well in patches," Jones said. "Shaun got into his stride to go 8-5 up and I was shut out of the match.

"The 100 to go 9-9 put me on the front foot but when I missed a chance in the final frame I thought it was going to be a nightmare.

"I think it is my best victory. I have never faced pressure like I have today so I am so pleased to hold myself together and come through. It gives me loads of confidence."

The 30-year-old from Neath joins Mark Allen in the last 16, the Masters champion having earlier secured a 10-5 win over Crucible debutant Liam Highfield.

Jamie Jones
Jamie Jones is making his third appearance at the World Championship

Northern Ireland's Allen led 6-3 overnight, but Highfield opened with his second break of 99 in the match.

Allen, 32, responded with three successive frames, knocking in his seventh half-century break en route to victory.

"I didn't score as heavily as I would have liked, but I think I did enough to win," said the world number 16.

"It was a good match even though it was not the most free-flowing. Liam pushed me all the way and there were lots of close frames."

Qualifier Highfield, from Stoke-on-Trent, added: "I really enjoyed it and felt comfortable, but Mark played really well and deserved his win."

Allen now plays world number 22 Joe Perry, who was a shock winner against defending champion Mark Selby in round one.

Mark Allen vs Liam Highfield match stats
Mark Allen will face Joe Perry in round two after his 10-5 win over Liam Highfield

Elsewhere...

Birthday boy Barry Hawkins beat fellow Englishman Stuart Carrington 10-7 in a late-night finish.

World number six Hawkins, 39, has a remarkable World Championship record having been runner-up in 2013 and a semi-finalist in three of the four years since.

The London-born, Kent-based left-hander held a 5-3 lead after a cagey first session. Two breaks of 50-plus saw Hawkins take control at 7-3, but Grimsby's Carrington once again hit back to within a frame.

Hawkins finally broke his opponent's resolve by winning a 55-minute 14th frame to go 8-6 to the good and went on to set up a meeting with Chinese qualifier Lyu Haotian.

World number three Ding Junhui began his quest for a first Crucible title by battling back from 2-0 down for a 6-3 advantage against fellow Chinese player Xiao Guodong going into Tuesday's second and final session.

Englishman Ricky Walden raced into a 4-1 lead over Belgium's Luca Brecel thanks to breaks of 68, 105 and 90 and maintained that three-frame gap for a 6-3 overnight lead.

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World Snooker Championship: Barry Hawkins overcomes Carrington challenge - five best shots

Analysis

Former Masters champion Alan McManus told BBC Sport:

"Jamie Jones has the game to perform under pressure. He is one of the guys you would want in your corner. Even at 8-5 down he fancied it. He's like a dog with a bone.

"I vividly remember seeing him in qualifying a few years ago and he was 9-4 down to Joel Walker and when he got back to 9-6 I was convinced he would win 10-9 and he did. I am so impressed with how he fights.

"Shaun Murphy has some stuff to work on. For how good a player he is I think he can get blase because he finds it that easy. He makes the odd wrong decision partly because he is so talented.

"He's a marquee player and he will be back but he will be disappointed with the way he lost because he had the chances."

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