World Snooker: Shaun Murphy slays giant-killer McGill

Shaun Murphy celebrates beating Anthony McGill during day twelve of the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible. Pic: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Shaun Murphy celebrates beating Anthony McGill during day twelve of the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible. Pic: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
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Shaun Murphy joined Judd Trump in the Betfred World Championship semi-final line-up after ending the title hopes of giant-killing Scot Anthony McGill.

Eye-catching qualifier McGill had knocked out Stephen Maguire and defending champion Mark Selby to reach the quarter-finals on his Crucible debut.

Anthony McGill

Anthony McGill

But Murphy had his measure and the winner from 2005 moved a step closer to an elusive second title in Sheffield with a 13-8 victory, sealed with a 67 break.

Three centuries in the match, and the way he accelerated away from 6-6, showed Murphy is a man to fear, and next for him will be Neil Robertson or Barry Hawkins.

Hawkins eked out an 8-7 lead there, taking a 70-minute 15th frame having earlier seen Robertson win three on the spin to recover from 7-3 adrift, setting up a likely close evening finish.

Murphy would doubtless be glad to see that go all the way to a deciding frame, given he tackles the winner on Thursday afternoon in the first of their four semi-final sessions.

Murphy confirmed that was the case, saying with a smile: “I really hope they go 13-12 on a respot until two in the morning and one of them can’t stand up tomorrow.”

Asked whether he can be champion, he said: “I’d like to think so. I’ve had good years here before and know what it takes to win this tournament.

“It’s a massive deal to be in the semi-finals. I’ve not been there for six years.

“That’s what everyone who comes wants to do, is play in the one-table set-up.

“It’s been hard having to go home at this stage and watch everyone else battle on for the tournament, but I’m in it, I’m still punching and I can’t wait.”

McGill, a harsh judge of himself, said: “I got completely hammered. He was far too good.

“I’ve learnt it’s the best place ever to play. I love it and hope to come back again.

“I’m really grateful I’ve had the chance to come here.”