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Shaun Murphy knocked out by amateur Barry Pinches in Welsh Open first round

Shaun Murphy suffered another shock loss at the hands of an amateur on the opening day of the BetVictor Welsh Open in Llandudno.

Murphy was beaten 4-3 by 53-year-old Barry Pinches, who is currently off the tour and only found out he was playing in the event two days ago as a late replacement.

World number six Murphy blasted the inclusion of amateurs in professional tournaments after his first-round defeat to Si Jiahui in the UK Championship in 2021.

Pinches fought back from behind three times and required a snooker on the blue in the final frame to claim one of the best wins of his long career.

Pinches told wst.tv: “I thought it was all over, but managed to lay a good snooker and then knocked in the last three balls.

“It was a great game, I enjoyed it and it’s a fantastic win for me. I don’t play all the time now, but I have been practising because I am just back from the (World Snooker Federation) event in Albania.”

Mark Allen battled back from the brink of defeat to overcome China’s Cao Yupeng in a final-frame decider and reach the next stage.

Allen was staring at a 4-1 defeat as his opponent led 3-1 and looked to be on a match-winning break, but he ran aground on 68 and Allen nervelessly responded with 70 to take the frame and launch his fightback.

Defending champion Robert Milkins edged past Jamie Jones 4-3, Neil Robertson continued to show signs of a return to form with a 4-1 win over Jackson Page, while Luca Brecel, Jack Lisowski, Mark Williams, Barry Hawkins, Kyren Wilson and John Higgins were among the other winners.

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