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Snooker star makes ‘fluke of the season’ at UK Championship | Other | Sport


Ding Junhui will be counting his unlucky stars after hitting a shot that snooker icon Shaun Murphy described as “the pick of the season”. He started his UK Championship campaign with a 6-4 win over Daniel Wells in Leicester on Monday but could not have asked for a better slice of luck in the final frame.

The Chinese star had a goal from 4-3 to lead 5-4 and scored a long red try at the start of the frame with the scores tied at 0-0. With several reds spread across the table for Wells to attack, Ding will fear the worst when he can’t find the bottom corner pocket for his shot.

But, that red gun not only knocked off the pink and another red before landing in the top corner – that second red found the center pocket and Ding could breathe a huge sigh of relief. The crowd inside the Morningside Arena could not believe what they were witnessing as Ding was the recipient of what could be one of the best flukes of the season.

That was according to Murphy, who responded on X (formerly known as Twitter) with writing: “Dings just had the puck of the season. Close the contest.” He then responded to one of his fans who was also impressed with the shot, adding: “Filth.”

Ding won the frame and the match as he produced breaks of 136, 67, 57, 68, 96, 98 and 64 to win the final three frames. The three-time tournament winner set up a final 64 match with Robbie Williams on Wednesday and admitted he was lucky in the final frame.

“It was a close game, Daniel played well,” said World No 17 Ding. “From 4-3, I knew I had to make some breaks and put him under pressure. The puck in the last frame was just as unlucky. The safety was difficult and I saw the long pot and thought I could bring the white back to baulk, but I completely missed it and both reds went in.

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