Allen will face either Barry Hawkins or Joe Perry in the quarter-finals. Stuart Bingham missed out on a 147 break on the way to a 6-4 against Ding Junhui. Bingham had fought back after losing the first frame to level and was on a break of 120 in frame three when a missed yellow cost him his chance at a maximum. He still took the frame 124-0 and claimed the fourth as a break of 60 secured a 70-21 success to lead 3-1. Ding took the next two frames to level at 3-3 before Bingham won the seventh frame 80-5. A break of 71 brought Ding level again but Bingham won the next to edge 5-4 ahead. And the reigning world champion edged a scrappy 10th frame to get over the line and book his place in the last eight of the Masters for the first time in his career. “It was very scrappy today luckily I managed to get through to the quarter-finals,” he said on BBC Two. “I am over the moon to get through.” Murphy, who beat Neil Robertson in the final last year, fought back from 5-2 to 5-4 but both men made errors in a scrappy 10th frame that eventually went the way of Allen as he secured a 6-4 victory. After the first two frames were shared, Allen moved ahead with a break of 137 in the third and then made it 4-2 when Murphy forfeited the frame following three misses. Murphy stood by his decision to try the same shot for a third time. Because he was not snookered, his third miss meant he automatically lost the frame. He said on worldsnooker.com: “It’s the rule. You don’t see it very often. Normally you would look for an alternative on the third go. I couldn’t see a Plan B. “All other options left him a guaranteed chance so I had to man up, take a deep breath and play the right shot. Unfortunately I got it completely wrong. “Did I lose the match because of it? No, I don’t think so. There were plenty of other frames. “I thought it was a really good match played in very good spirit. That match could have been the final of any tournament. Unfortunately for me it was the first round and I’m on my way home.” Another century of 104 put Allen one frame away and, although Murphy managed a break of 100 in the ninth frame, he could not complete the comeback. Allen was delighted to get the better of his good friend at one of snooker’s biggest tournaments, saying: “Shaun is the defending champion here, under a lot of pressure, and it was a big match for me playing him on the big stage. “I’m very happy with the way I played, I scored heavily, took my chances well and got over the line in the end.” Defending champion Shaun Murphy was dumped out of the Masters in the first round by Mark Allen at Alexandra Palace. Press Association
Usually when a team is down and in need of a pick-me-up, they look to their senior team leaders to give them a boost of energy. But these Badgers are different.When the Wisconsin men’s soccer team has needed a goal or a spark, it has been the team’s freshmen that have stepped up thus far this season. Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Rutgers (3-2-0) was no different.Wisconsin (1-4-0) freshmen forwards and childhood friends Tom Barlow and Mark Segbers were the two Badgers who found the back of the night Friday night, and the two putting points on the scoreboard is nothing new for this team. Seven of the nine total goals the Badgers have scored this year have come from freshmen. Barlow and Segbers have combined for six of those seven.So, while the nationally televised overtime match ended in heartbreak for UW, the team can still take stock in the freshmens’ early success in their offensive attack.Barlow put the Badgers up 1-0 in the 12th minute when he beat the Rutgers goalkeeper one on one and fired a shot into the open net. Then, with the Badgers down 2-1 in the 89th minute, Segbers took a pass from senior defender David Caban, put it into the back of the net to send the game into overtime. Barlow and Segbers also combined for six of the team’s 13 shots on goal.Segbers has been on a hot streak to start the season, and he has fed off the taller Barlow well. The pairing of the two up top has been a solid match, and is the main reason why both players, especially Segbers, have been able to produce so early on in their freshman seasons.“We have been waiting for Mark to get here,” junior midfielder Drew Conner said. “And with Tom up top, he works very nice off a big holding forward and makes very good runs off the ball. He’s got that killer instinct and he’s been absolutely crucial for us this season.”It’s no coincidence that Segbers and Barlow have been playing so well, even though they have both just started their college soccer careers. The two of them both grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and have played with and against each other since they were in elementary school.They had chemistry before they even stepped onto the pitch, and it shows.“Mark and I, both being from St. Louis, have been playing together since we were 10,” Barlow said. “We grew up playing together so it has been easier with him. I like working with him on top, but it’s also coming together with the other guys too so both of us are starting to play better.”Growing up together has not only made the chemistry between them better, but it also has made the transition from the high school to the college game a much smoother one, while most initially struggle with the change.“It’s awesome to have him up there with me. It’s almost like playing back at home again against him,” Segbers said. “Playing with someone I know and I am so familiar with, I feel as if sometimes I know what he is going to do before he even does it. It just makes it that much easier knowing where he is going to go and being able to feed off his energy.”The pre-existing chemistry of Barlow and Segbers has not only helped the pair, but it has also helped the chemistry of the team grow at a faster rate. With 12 new freshmen coming in after losing quite a few players from last year’s NCAA tournament team, it’s a tall task for everyone to be on the same page so early in the season.Yet Conner sees the connection the two freshman have as a model for the rest of the team on how they need to work together. The team having stronger chemistry will ultimately be what helps turn the season around for the Badgers.“Their exchange in space and how they move off each other is just fun to watch. But that’s the kind of chemistry we need to be building throughout the team,” Conner said. “When you get a bunch of new guys in, that’s the kind of chemistry we need to work on in other spots of the field. We all need to get on the same page, and if we can do that all over the field, I think things will look up for us.”
USC football enters preparations for the Oregon game on a positive note: The Trojans are on a four-game winning streak, are tied for second in the Pac-12 and are heavily favored against the Ducks on Saturday.Furthermore, the Trojans climbed up in the AP poll to their best position since falling out of the Top 25 after losing to Alabama to open the season. USC received 40 votes in this week’s rankings, placing them behind only Houston (65 votes) as the team receiving the most votes outside the Top 25.Four teams from the Pac-12 are ranked in the Top 25 — Washington, which beat Utah on Saturday, remains at No. 4, while the Utes are now 16th. Colorado comes in at No. 21 after a bye week, and Washington State made its first appearance in rankings, climbing to No. 25. With Utah losing to Washington, the Trojans are now tied with the Utes for second in the Pac-12 South, as both teams hold 4-2 records. Colorado is alone in first with a record of 4-1.After beginning the season 1-3, USC has beaten Arizona State, Colorado, Arizona and Cal to bring its record to a respectable 5-3. But the Trojans do not control their own fate. To clinch the Pac-12 South, they have to win the remainder of their games and have both Utah and Colorado lose at least once.The Trojans are favored by two touchdowns against Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks have struggled this season with a 3-5 record, and this marks the first time USC has faced an Oregon team with a losing record since 1982. A win would likely boost the Trojans back into the AP Top 25 before they take on Washington on the road. USC hasn’t beaten Oregon at the Coliseum since 2008, though the Trojans have won seven straight games at home. The game will kickoff at 4 p.m. on Saturday and air on ESPN.