Champions Murphy and Ebdon Out in York

World no.1 Mark Selby eased into the quarter-finals of the UK Championship on Wednesday after a 6-1 thrashing of Dechawat Poomjaeng in York.

Marco Fu
Fu was runner-up to Murphy in 2008 – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

However, the 2006 and 2008 champions Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy are out after defeats to David Grace and Marco Fu respectively.

Ebdon had been considered a dark horse following his victory over world champion Stuart Bingham in the third round and the far superior experience he possessed over Grace – ranked 81st in the world.

Yet, the 2002 world champion produced a dreadful display of negative snooker lacking any fluency to deservedly be beaten 6-2.

Grace, partly because he was bogged down by his opponent, didn’t actually play that well himself but was fortunate to come up against a player worse than him on the day.

It marks the Englishman’s maiden run to the quarter-final of a ranking event, and what a place to manage the feat, in the second biggest of them all.

Also crashing out in the top half was Murphy, who was downed for the second successive year in the last 16 by Hong Kong’s Fu.

Such is the number of seeds who have exited in this section of the draw, Fu is now arguably the favourite to go on and reach the final.

The 37 year-old, who won the General Cup just before this tournament started, played well and compiled breaks of 104, 93, 68 and two 50s to withstand the challenge of Murphy 6-4.

Meanwhile, Selby put in a much-improved performance to the one that just about got him scrambling over the line against Jamie Jones in the last 32.

RunsĀ of 82, 58, 106, 86 and 98 brought the 2012 champion to the brink of a whitewash, before Poomjaeng avoided any such embarrassment in the sixth frame.

That proved to be Thai’s only modicum of success, though, as Selby wrapped up the triumph in the next frame with a clearance to the black.

Selby will be challenged by Matthew Selt for a semi-final berth after Selt came from 3-1 down to oust young Belgian Luca Brecel 6-4.

Thursday has the remaining fourth round encounters with the pick of the bunch being Neil Robertson’s clash against Stephen Maguire.

Click here to view the full draw.



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