Maguire thrilled after edging tense Crucible clash against old foe Murphy

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Maguire thrilled after edging tense Crucible clash against old foe Murphy
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Stephen Maguire edged a tense World Championship first round clash against old foe Shaun Murphy, writes Ben Parsons.

Maguire avoided a nail-biting decider by prevailing 10-8 against last year’s finalist to book his place in the second round.

The 2005 champion Murphy was 6-3 down overnight but came roaring back to lead 8-7.

Gutsy Scot Maguire responded to win three straight frames and set up a fascinating last 16 match against Chinese sensation Zhao Xintong.

A dramatic 72-minute 14th frame had agonisingly gone the way of Murphy to leave the scores level.

Maguire thought his chances of winning had faded at that stage, but was delighted to eventually progress after late night Crucible drama.

“I thought the match was over then when I lost that one," he said.

"But somehow I managed to find three frames from somewhere.

“I’m over the moon that I kicked in at the right time but I’ve got a few days and I need to improve for the next match.

“Towards the end of last night and the middle of the match tonight it went stale.

“I felt as if we were rubbish. That’s the worst match we’ve played each other in probably ever and we’ve played since we were 11-years-old.

“It’s a shame because it could have been a great match but I’m through so I’m happy.”

Meanwhile, Jackson Page completed a dream Crucible debut by knocking out world no.9 Barry Hawkins 10-7.

Page fired back-to-back century breaks of 132 and 135 to finish in style on a stunning first outing at snooker’s most iconic venue.

The 20-year-old is not lacking ambition for the rest of the tournament after Hawkins and Murphy became the first seeds to exit.

“I’m here to win it and I know I can,” confident Page said.

“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and if I do, I’m going to have a chance.”

The Welshman faces a tasty probable second round clash against his mentor Mark Williams.

Three-time champion Williams has one foot in the last 16 after putting on a snooker exhibition to lead amateur compatriot Michael White 7-2, leaving him three frames from victory.

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