A county connection as Wilson and Murphy clash in world semi-final

Kettering's Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy, who grew up in Irthlingborough, are set to collide at the Crucible

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:32 am
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:34 am
Kettering's Kyren Wilson saw off Neil Robertson to reach the last four of the World Snooker Championship. Picture courtesy of World Snooker Tour

It will be a Northamptonshire derby of sorts when Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy begin their Betfred World Snooker Championship semi-final at the Crucible tonight (Thursday).

Kettering’s Wilson secured a place in the last four for the third time after he beat World No.3 Neil Robertson 13-8 yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

And he found out who his opponent would be last night as Murphy held off a fightback from World No.1 Judd Trump to record a 13-11 success.

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Shaun Murphy, who grew up in Irthlingborough, beat World No.1 Judd Trump to seal a place in the last four where he will meet Kettering's Kyren Wilson

Murphy, who won the World Championship in 2005, grew up in Irthlingborough before moving away from the county during the 2004 season.

And while a rivalry exists between the two towns, mainly thanks to the battles between Kettering Town and Rushden & Diamonds on the football pitch when Murphy was growing up in the area, the ‘Magician’ insists that isn’t the case with him and Wilson.

The first session of the semi-final, which pits the World No.6 (Wilson) against the World No.7 (Murphy) starts at 7pm this evening.

And Murphy said: “We grew up very close to each other. I grew up in Irthlingborough and he was in Kettering and he is still there whereas I moved away.

“The rivalry between those two towns is intense but fortunately Kyren and I seem to have missed that.

“We get on really well, we have practised together, we have shared managers and shared a lot of personal time together. We get on very well.

“It’s going to be a very tough game. He is now becoming an absolute course and distance runner here.

“He builds his whole life around performing well here so it’s no surprise that he does.”

The second session of the best of 33 frames semi-final will be tomorrow afternoon (2.30pm) with the third and final sessions on Saturday (10am and 7pm).