Rivals Ronnie O'Sullivan and Shaun Murphy power into UK Championship final

The pair have produced excellent snooker in the latter stages of the competition.

Rivals Ronnie O'Sullivan and Shaun Murphy power into UK Championship final
O'Sullivan and Murphy have not always seen eye-to-eye (photo: Getty Images / VCG)

In a week that saw 14 of the top 16 seeds knocked out of the competition before the quarter-finals, it was two former World champions who produced some compelling snooker to set up a recognisable final.

The Rocket ignites in the later rounds

Ronnie O'Sullivan struggled in the early stages of the competition but cruised past Martin Gould in the semi-finals. Just hours after a draining quarter-final, the Rocket shot into a 5-0 lead before winning 6-3. His semi-final opponent, Stephen Maguire, produced exactly the same result as he defeated Joe Perry.

Yet the Scotsman left himself with too much to do against O'Sullivan has he fell 4-0 behind. He delved deep to keep O'Sullivan on his toes as breaks of 91 and 129 helped Maguire win four of the next five frames.

However, O'Sullivan had proved his class again with a break of 111 between that run and eventually sealed his place in the final with a contribution of 63.

Murphy in great form

Shaun Murphy won his quarter-final against Mark King 6-1, whilst his semi-final opponent, Ryan Day, was pushed all the way by Mark Joyce as he edged through a final frame decider.

The 2005 World champion continued his impressive form into the final four stage and flew into a 4-1 lead. Breaks of 104, 73, 89 and 135 left Day with just one point to his name in the four frames he lost.

A break of 61 in the sixth frame gave Day hope but Murphy reestablished his three-frame cushion with a 70 in the following contest. The Welshman was able to remain confident and produced a thrilling break of 128 in frame eight but Murphy sealed the victory with a contribution of 59 in a high-quality semi-final.

O'Sullivan and Murphy have often exchanged words in front of the media about each other and meet for the eleventh time on Sunday. Murphy has only won three of those meetings and lost the latest contest when O'Sullivan took Champion of Champions glory with a 10-8 victory in the final.