Snooker star Robert Milkins is set to add another significant victory to his already impressive season, leading Shaun Murphy 5-3 in their first-round fixture at the Duelbits Tour Championship.
Milkins, who is currently experiencing the best season of his career, is thriving on the big stage and is eager to secure his spot in the semi-finals. The duo will return to the Bonus Arena in Hull on Wednesday evening, with the winner being the first to reach ten frames and proceed to the next round to face Mark Selby or Ryan Day.
Milkins, aged 47, achieved his greatest moment on the baize last month when he beat Murphy in the Welsh Open final, placing him at the top of the BetVictor Series rankings and earning him a £150,000 bonus. The Gloucester cueman is competing in this week’s tournament for the first time and is relishing the opportunity to showcase his talent.
However, Murphy has also been in exceptional form, particularly at the Duelbits Players Championship, where he made 11 centuries on his way to claiming the title. Despite this, Milkins has managed to secure a comfortable lead in their current fixture.
In the opening frame, Milkins narrowly claimed victory on the colours after a 28-minute exchange. Murphy managed to level the score with an impressive break of 70 in the second frame but lost the third frame by a narrow margin. Milkins then extended his lead with a break of 75 in the fourth frame.
In the fifth frame, Murphy missed a red to a centre pocket, allowing Milkins to take advantage with a 71 clearance. Another Murphy error in the sixth frame, missing the black off its spot, enabled Milkins to widen the gap to 5-1.
Murphy managed to pull one frame back with a break of 67, needing a foothold in the match. However, the last frame of the session could prove crucial, as Milkins missed a difficult pot on the last red to a baulk corner, giving Murphy the opportunity to clear and reduce the deficit to just two frames after a long safety exchange on the red.
Milkins will undoubtedly be eager to continue his winning form and secure his spot in the semi-finals. With both players at the top of their game, it promises to be an exciting fixture for snooker fans.