Top Murphy stuns Dale

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FORMER Rotherham potter Shaun Murphy produced a brilliant comeback to keep his Shanghai Masters title hopes alive.

The former world champion battled back from 4-1 down to beat Welshman Dominic Dale 5-4 at the Grand Stage in the first round of the first major ranking event of the new season. “At 4-1 down it would have been easy to give up, but this is a long way to come and I had to give it 100%. I’ve came here to try my best and to win,” reflected Murphy. “We both had a lot of chances. After the interval Dominic missed a lot of balls and I just took more chances than he did.

“I’ve always been good at winning from behind, ever since my junior days. You always get another chance, unless it’s the last frame.”

Dale pocketed breaks of 128 and 48 to force the early pace, but Murphy responded with two runs of 45 and a 40 to edge through.

Sheffield-based Chinese cueman Ding Junhui kicks off his Chinese challenge against Pinner potter Martin Gould today.