Allister Carter produced a gritty, tenacious display to stun former champion Shaun Murphy and book a place in the semi-finals at the Crucible Theatre.
Carter, who had resumed 8-8 with Murphy, wasted little time in moving ahead of the Irthlingborough man with a magnificent break of 122 after Murphy had extended a helping hand by failing to find the top cushion with his safety. Carter, who has a six month son called Max, proved himself to be Daddy Cool as he went behind again at 10-9 when Murphy fired in breaks of 81, 33 and 49 to ask further questions of the Tiptree professional’s fighting spirit.
He needn’t have bothered as Carter answered the challenge as he won a nervy twentieth frame that didn’t see one sizable break. In effect it was then down to the best of five as both men required three frames for a place in the semi-finals. Carter, now warming to his task, quickly rubbed salt into Murphy’s wound with a more free-flowing display of potting to edge in front at 11-10 with a break of 61. Murphy wasn’t finished though, answering the challenge with a break of 90 to square the match.
Gradually it looked as though the match would go all the way, and so it proved as both men shared the next two frames to remain level at 12-12; and so to the shootout. Murphy will surely regret a simple red that he missed to the corner, allowing Allister a chance to snatch glory. However Allister was also twitching and as they approached the colours, a twist of fate came to decide the outcome. Carter missed a straight yellow and left it in the jaws, but to his relief the cue ball rolled safely behind the green ball. Murphy tried to swerve around it but only succeeded in leaving the yellow hanging over the corner pocket, leaving Carter with a straightforward opportunity to make amends for his previous miss.
With the yellow down and the most crucial of remaining colours on their spots, Carter steadied himself to execute the clearance with absolute cool. As he sunk the pink a sporting Shaun Murphy offered his hand and warmly congratulated his opponent who now goes on to face Neil Robertson in the semi-final.