In an impressive display of skill and nerve, James Cahill , ranked 111th in the world, has defeated Shaun Murphy 4-3 in the second round of the WST Classic. Known for his ability to rise to the occasion against higher-ranked opponents, Cahill has now claimed victories over some of the game’s all-time greats, including Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible in 2019.
Despite Murphy’s impressive scoring, which included runs of 92, 143, and 53, he was unable to close out the match against the determined Blackpool cueman. In the deciding frame, Murphy led by ten points when he attempted a long pot on the match-ball blue , but missed his target and went in-off. Cahill then converted excellent pots on blue, pink, and black to clinch the win.
Reflecting on his victory, Cahill acknowledged that he had struggled to settle into the match, stating that he felt as if he was playing an “alien game” due to the unfamiliar table. He credited Murphy with playing better than him and acknowledged that he had been lucky to come away with the win. Looking ahead, Cahill acknowledged that he had not had a good season thus far, with a number of first-round exits, and that he needed to improve significantly.
In other action, Mark Selby staged an impressive comeback to beat Zhang Anda 4-3, while John Higgins continued his recent upturn in form with a 4-1 victory over Mark Joyce. Mark Allen, meanwhile, is yet to make a break over 50 in the tournament so far but managed to stay in the draw with a narrow 4-3 win over Mark Davis.
One of the standout performances of the day came from amateur Daniel Wells, who added another fine result to his superb season with a 4-1 victory over Stephen Maguire. Tian Pengfei also showed his resilience, coming back from 3-0 down to edge out Shoot Out king Chris Wakelin 4-3.