Another day in the books
Join us tomorrow at 12.45pm GMT for Maguire-Bingtao followed by Higgins-O'Sullivan.
Stuart Bingham beats Shaun Murphy 6-3!
Northern Ireland Open
'Never seen a clearance as good as that' - O'Sullivan hails magic moment from Higgins
That's a very good win for the defending champ. He plays Maguire or Bingtao next.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-72)
It's the Masters, so Shaun comes back chasing snooker - but not for long.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-71)
Needing just one more red, when Stuart gets another half-chance he seizes it, swerving to tuck a red into the middle. This is over, and though the frames have been long, the second half of this match has been dominated by Bingham.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-59)
Shaun misses another red to centre which allows Stuart to add to his lead. There are six reds in close proximity to one another, close to the side cushion, so there's a job of work to do still. He screws into their midst off the black, but all that he's on is a double that he plays as a shot to nothing and misses.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-39)
Not now Bernard. He comes up the table off the yellow but doesn't dig into the pack with enough venom, so he's back up the table. Ordinarily, he'd have expected not to come back, but this match isn't like that.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-24)
He can want all he likes - he misses a red to the green pocket ... but then Shaun teases one along the black cushion, jawses it, and this is another chance for Stuart to win f&m.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham (0-16)
Shaun's long-potting was so good on Monday night but it's off tonight, and he misses a big long red that he could really have done with ... then misses another, wildly and trying to force it. In so doing he bangs the pack, and Stuart will want to make a commanding contribution here.
Murphy 3-5 Bingham
After 45-odd minutes - 45 odd minutes - Bingham is one away.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (47-70)
Murphy leaves the brown and Bingham willpowers it home, getting behind the pink and out again to see off the blue. Murphy needs two snookers with two balls left on the table, but it's never happening.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (47-61)
"Wow" says Bingham. Because a snooker on the yellow extends his lead, then he pots it in the green pocket, and somehow arcs the white all the way down the table and into the opposite corner! This game. Shaun strikes home the green ... but can't get on the brown, which he now has to get safe.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (38-53)
More scrabbling from Stuart, who comes down the table for the yellow; all he has to do is avoid the brown. He doesn't, so the chase begins.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (38-37)
Nope. And this will be a while yet because two reds are close to the black cushion while the yellow is close to the baulk cushion. Stuart then slings a red to the green pocket and it doesn't so much wipe its feet as undress on the doorstep before finally traipsing in. He then develops the two reds off the black and lays a snooker, white dead centre off the bottom cushion and the reds behind the black. You've got to laugh.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (38-16)
A good red from Bingham, but then he jabs at a green to the middle and misses. He's getting no love out of the sides tonight, but then Shaun misses a red with the rest. But then, but then, but then. Neither player can get anything going, and it's incredible to watch. Stuart is now having another go.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (31-14)
Round and round it goes. A poor safety from Shaun, bumping into the cluster, leaves a red on for Stuart. But neither man is flowing at the moment, and he soon misses a different one into the centre. Shaun capitalises, and the pack is looking riper now - especially when he bags a long pink. But he's overrun by half an inch and now he's on nowt.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham (19-4)
I was hoping Shaun might've played his way into form there, but misses a long red by acres. Still, he's in next and we see a great shot of him down on a shot with Stuart peering around his behind, sat on his own behind. Not for long. A poor positional shot to a red makes it a harder pot and a cannon off the black means he can't get position on it. He tries to go safe off the yellow, misses, and strangely Stuart doesn't stick him back in ... he leaves a long red and down it goes! Ouch. This game.
Murphy 3-4 Bingham
This was a crucial frame, and Murphy managed to find his highest break of the match, 70, to more or less deal with it. I've said it before, but this is another excellent match - though not quite as high in quality as Murphy-Williams in the previous round.
Murphy 2-4 Bingham (87-16)
Stuart can't capitalise, giving Shaun the nice relaxing job of clearing up, frame in pocket.
Murphy 2-4 Bingham (70-0)
But here's some more - his route to the black is blocked by a red, so he takes a long blue instead ... and strokes it home quicksmart - Shaun told Dominic that he always takes every shot the same way. This is intense now, and the next frame is going to be huge - but we're not there yet because Murphy's missed a red!
Murphy 2-4 Bingham (34-0)
A tactical start to frame seven, until Stuart leaves a long one and Shaun sees it away nicely. He could really do with putting something together because it's been a while. He's chasing from the start, three really good pots keeping him going, then two more - this is great stuff. He gets himself onto the black, and now it's concentration more than anything. He's done the really hard work.
Murphy 2-4 Bingham
It's getting tense, both players playing false shots. But then Shaun goes in off and concedes; that's three in a row now, and momentum is with him.
Murphy 2-3 Bingham (0-60)
But no! Stuart gets just a little ragged and eventually jawses the black. He's 53 ahead with 75 left and is soon back adding to that - Shaun tries to slide a red past the ball he missed, but can't make it work.
Murphy 2-3 Bingham (0-32)
Yeah, Stuart's feeling good. He sends a red long into the yellow pocket then works his way towards the business end ... only to miss a red into the middle! That's the kind of pot you almost never get in the club that these lads get almost every time. But as I type that, he's back at the table after a mistake by Shaun, who comes around the angles of the yellow pocket and the yellow, leaving a starter. This looks a lot like being the frame.
Murphy 2-3 Bingham
The matches this week have shown so much of what's great about the game currently - there are just so many brilliant players, which is why we've seen so many close finishes. Stuart will fancy that if he wins the next frame, that might break the back of this.
Murphy 2-2 Bingham (23-71)
This is good from Stuart, and the second frame in a row he's jumped all over an error from Shaun.
Murphy 2-2 Bingham (23-34)
Shaun will be annoyed. He did a lot of grunt work for Stuart to come and tidy up, taking all the glory.
Murphy 2-2 Bingham (23-6)
Shaun sinks a complex plant ... or flukes one, one of the two, and works his way down to the black-spot area. A few shots later, he splits the pack beautifully, only to wind up on nothing easy. He keeps the break going by working to baulk, but a poor positional shot forces him to take a risk - two reds are kissing and it looks like he'll hit the non-pottable one first, but still send it down. That sounds a reach but it looks that way and that's how it works out. But you can only chase for so long and a difficult long yellow is missed, putting Stuart in.
The boyz rebaize...
Murphy 2-2 Bingham
Yes indeed! He doubles the pink and steals the frame with a terrific clearance! We're even at the break, and this is growing into yet another fantastic match. This has been such a week.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham (58-45)
Stuart rams in one of the two reds - it's a lovely pot, to the yellow pocket - and it now looks like this frame will come down to the pink, stuck onto the side cushion just above the middle pocket. He has a chance to develop it off the final red, but his leaving it alone suggests he's happy to come back to it as a double.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham (58-32)
Stuart gets in next and I'm sure Shaun's sat there wondering, until he runs out of position. The lead is 24 with 43 left, so he'll need both the remaining reds, one of which is towards the baulk line with the other close to the black cushion, its route to the nearest pocket blocked by the blue.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham (58-0)
He can't get it all done at this visit, but he's soon back and after two minutes spent looking at the table, he cracks home a glorious long red. He plays safe after the black though, protecting his lead with plenty of points still on the table.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham (46-0)
But not for long - Shaun, who looks in better order, is soon back at the table eating from around the edges. He finds himself having to prod home a red while bridging awkwardly over the black, pots both, and Dominic explains that his tip is unusually small - small enough for him to impart the backspin necessary to make that happen. There's still work to do though, so he sets about it.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham (17-0)
Shaun gets the first hack at the table, but he runs out of position so puts Stuart behind the black; all he can do is roll into the pack, which probably means some picking and prodding.
Murphy 2-1 Bingham
Neither player is quite at it and Stuart will feel he should've won that frame - he's right. He's now under pressure to take the last one before the interval.
Murphy 1-1 Bingham (65-31)
No quite. A run of 51 leaves Bingham needing one five-point snooker to tie, so more likely two snookers.
Murphy 1-1 Bingham (21-24)
Yes ... and no. An error from Shaun soon gives Stuart that chance, only for him to miss a simple one into the middle! The table isn't easy, with reds away from the high-value colours, but I'd expect this to mean the frame.
Murphy 1-1 Bingham (14-0)
After that delicious ton, Stuart catches the blue off the break, full-ball, and it allows Shaun to get on the board. But on 14 he takes on along red to the yellow pocket. raising a hand to show his infinite sorrow when he leaves nowt. Stuart then misses one to the middle - these pockets are extremely unforgiving tonight - but given reds splayed all over the show, I doubt we're far from a sizeable contribution.
Murphy 1-1 Bingham
A 123 squares the match.
Murphy 1-0 Bingham (0-106)
There's a 136 on the table, which would put him level with Kyren Wilson at the top of the highest break list - though it seems unlikely it'll be enough for the prize at the end of the weekend. But he takes a couple of pinks so has to make do with another added to his list of centuries.
Murphy 1-0 Bingham (0-40)
Stuart wallops in a long red right in the heart of the pocket, which we almost miss noting the bit of triple crown that's fallen off Shaun's waistcoat. But it sets him up nicely - though does not mean we miss noting his waistcoat, a check picnic blanket affair - and he quickly rolls about the table removing balls.
Murphy 1-0 Bingham
Shaun eases in the blue then misses a double on the pink, but it doesn't matter.
Murphy 0-0 Bingham (60-41)
The pink is tricky, not far from a side cushion and not near the pocket, while the black is on its own cushion, so this isn't done yet. And knowledge of it perturbs Stuart, who misses a simple enough blue trying to get on the pink. That'll be that.
Murphy 0-0 Bingham (60-38)
Shaun rattles it down the yellow pocket, but needing a colour to leave Stuart needing snookers, he misses a pretty straightforward black! So Stuart sees off the yellow, but the green is marooned in the middle of the bottom cushion, and that looks like being the ball which will decide the frame.
Murphy 0-0 Bingham (59-36)
These two haven't played in a major since Bingham beat Murphy in the 2016 world final, after which Murphy claimed his back was hurting him so much he almost didn't play - that was what caused the animus. You can see that neither wants to lose this because it's been a nervous start from both men, and Shaun can't in fact secure the frame, missing another cut to middle. Stuart weighs in with a quick 11, but leaves a long tempter...
Murphy 0-0 Bingham (44-25)
The middle pocket gave Shaun aggravation in round one and he misses a cut into it here, then Stuart pots a long red with Shaun stood up behind him to intimate that a miss is expected. And rightly so; he immediately loses control of the white and another missed cut to middle gives Shaun another opportunity. I'd expect this to be the frame.
Murphy 0-0 Bingham (13-17)
After one shot, Murphy has already missed more long reds than he did in the first eight frames of his first-round match against Mark Williams, and then he misses a short one with the spider. I miss what happens just before and just after because my computer crashes twice, but it returns in time for me see Stuart miss the black on 17, leaving Shaun a good chance.
Right, here we go!
I've been looking forward to this one, two serious artists in decent form ... and they don't like each other. Let's have a bit of Shaun Murphy v Stuart Bingham!
That's the afternoon session done
Join me at 6.45pm GMT for Stuart Bingham v Shaun Murphy!
Dave Gilbert beats Kyren Wilson 6-5!
That's an incredible win for him! I'm not sure exactly how he did it, but his refusal to turn it in was a big part. He didn't get going at all, but made his two highest breaks of the match, 66 and 67, in the final two frames. He plays O'Sullivan or Higgins next; the former is the only member of the world top five still alive.
Wilson 5-5 Gilbert (9-66)
Kyren sticks Dave up in baulk with the green blocking the route to the reds and fouls; when the balls are replaced, he assiduously makes it harder for himself by insisting he was in more trouble than the ref's first go suggested. After the second attempt, Kyren comes to the table, drains a red ... AND MISSES A PINK TO THE MIDDLE! That is pressure, that is this game. The table is Dave's, and the man who seemed to be unhappy with every aspect of his snoker is going to be in the Masters semis!
Wilson 5-5 Gilbert (0-66)
Ouch. Dave totally underhits a black - let's be real, it's a twitch, because he cues right across it. Unlike the one in the first frame, it goes down, but he gets no position! Will he play safe or take on the double? He takes it on - and that makes sense because it's match-ball - but misses by a few inches. Kyren returns with 75 left, and he'll be extremely relieved to be getting another go.
Wilson 5-5 Gilbert (0-51)
Long pause. Dave thinks about which red to play, whether to play it, what life means, and he cuts it sharply but gently into the hole, while performing a little cannot! That's a great shot, and it's to his immense credit that he's produced his best snooker under the most pressure. He's nearly there!
Wilson 5-5 Gilbert (0-26)
Dave's been disarmingly candid about how difficult he's found lockdown, missing the camaraderie of the tour and not in a good place with his game. But here he is now, forcing an error from Kyren, who mistimes his roll-up, that yields the first chance of this deciding frame! There's an absolute bevy of work to do, but you'd rather be chancing your arse than sitting on it.
Wilson 5-5 Gilbert
Well done Dave Gilbert! He's shown such moxie here. It's been a real struggle - he's been outpotted, out-safetied and out-scored, but just like Kyren he's a frame away! You can only admire the way he got there really.
Wilson 5-4 Gilbert (0-68)
No! Dave overcuts a blue to middle and he's 67 ahead with 67 on the table! But Kyren makes nothing of it, leaving a red over that same pocket, and that will be that.
Wilson 5-4 Gilbert (0-60)
I'll tell you what, Dave's confidence looks fragile but he's not hidden at any point; throughout the match he's tried to attack, not recklessly but when the opportunity presents. He'll play better than this and lose, which is to say he'll rarely play as badly as this and get to a final frame with a player of Kyren's calibre, but it would've been easy for him to take his defeat and slink off home. But no, he's fought his arse off so this is great to see.
Wilson 5-4 Gilbert (0-28)
Kyren opens the reds right up, so Dave knows that any error and he's struggling. But have a look! He absolutely thunders home a long red and this is lovely to see; he flows through the balls and looks good for a decider!
Wilson 5-4 Gilbert
A break of 80 makes for a quick frame in a match that's seen them get progressively longer. It's hard to see Dave winning two straight, but it was hard to imagine we'd still be here more than for hours after we started so I'm saying nowt.
Wilson 4-4 Gilbert (75-9)
Kyren has serious temperament, and he navigates the table beautifully in securing the frame.
Wilson 4-4 Gilbert (31-9)
A fine long red yields Dave no reward and shortly afterwards he leaves one for Kyren, I'd generally say he'll clinch the frame at this visit because he's a brilliant player, but the way this match has gone ... and gone ... and gone, I'm not saying jack.
Wilson 4-4 Gilbert (14-8)
If Kyren wins this one, you'd back him hard though; whereas Dave you'd be less confident about finding a way over the line. But it's the former at the table and in control ... until he runs out of position and misses a long red by a long way. Dave, though, can only work out four in reply, so we're back playing safety.
Wilson 4-4 Gilbert
I keep waiting for Kyren to pull away and it's not yet happened; at this stage I've not a clue who's going to win.
Full Masters schedule
Sunday January 10
- Kyren Wilson 6-2 Gary Wilson (1pm)
- Joe Perry 2-6 David Gilbert (7pm)
Monday January 11
- Stuart Bingham 6-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (1pm)
- Shaun Murphy 6-4 Mark Williams (7pm)
Tuesday January 12
- Neil Robertson 5-6 Yan Bingtao (1pm)
- Mark Selby 3-6 Stephen Maguire (7pm)
Wednesday January 13
- Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 Ding Junhui (1pm)
- John Higgins 6-5 Mark Allen (7pm)
Thursday January 14
- Gilbert v Wilson (1pm)
- Bingham v Murphy (7pm)
Friday January 15
- Higgins v O'Sullivan (1pm)
- Maguire v Yan (7pm)
Saturday January 16
- Bingham / Murphy v Maguire / Yan (1pm)
- Gilbert / Wilson v Higgins / O'Sullivan (7pm)
Sunday January 17
- TBC v TBC (1pm, 7pm)
HOW TO WATCH THE MASTERS 2021 TV AND LIVESTREAM
You can watch every moment of the Masters live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk.
The Masters will also be broadcast on Eurosport 1 across the week.
Northern Ireland Open
'Messi can maybe make the game look that easy' - O'Sullivan wowed by Higgins
Northern Ireland Open
'Messi can maybe make the game look that easy' - O'Sullivan wowed by Higgins