Murphy ends Ronnie's reign

O'Sullivan's five-year dominance ended in Norfolk

Last updated: 30th November 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Murphy ends Ronnie's reign

Murphy: Magic display

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Shaun Murphy dethroned Ronnie O'Sullivan as the Premier League king with a superb 7-3 victory in Sunday's final at Hopton-on Sea.

Five-time champion O'Sullivan, who ran a half marathon earlier in the day, was distinctly out-of-sorts as his bid for a record sixth consecutive title fell well short.

The maiden Premier League triumph comes at the perfect time for Murphy, who will begin the defence of his UK Open title next weekend.

The world number three made an awful start to the 2009 campaign, losing his opening two group matches before squeezing into the play-offs on frame difference.

But there was no stopping the 27-year-old on Sunday evening, the 2005 World champion powering into a 3-0 lead before sealing victory in frame 10.

Fight

O'Sullivan missed a routine black off the spot and a superb 111 clearance from Murphy saw him take the very first frame in ruthless fashion.

A missed long red from 'The Rocket' let Murphy back in next up, but he missed a red to the middle to halt his break of 38.

However, when O'Sullivan inadvertently potted a red and black with the same shot, a 32 break from 'The Magician' put the frame out of the three-time World champion's reach.

And 2-0 soon became 3-0, Murphy shutting the door on O'Sullivan with composed breaks of 40 and 29.

O'Sullivan was not prepared to relinquish the title he has held since 2004 without a fight though, the 33-year-old reeling off the next three frames to level matters at the interval.

Any thoughts of O'Sullivan moving through the gears to win the match were quickly dispelled though, Murphy edging back ahead before a 75 break put him two frames from glory.

Murphy rattled in a break of 63 to regain his three-frame advantage and victory was wrapped-up in the next when the Harlow potter overcame a crowd distraction with a composed 67 clearance.

Disappointing

Speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, Murphy said: "It's amazing to win but it's hard really because it would have been a great achievement (for O'Sullivan) to get six in a row.

"For Ronnie to win five years in a row is amazing and he deserves the credit for it.

"To go into a 3-0 lead against Ronnie it's almost a position you don't want to be in because you know he is going to hunt you down and that is what he started to do.

"I'm just pleased to get over the line."

O'Sullivan reflected: "It's disappointing but Shaun was strong, scored very well, looked confident around the table so he was the better player on the night and deserved the win."