On Fire Maguire Marches On

On Fire Maguire Marches On

November 13th, 2015

Stephen Maguire (4)Stephen Maguire produced the most emphatic performance of this year’s 188BET Champion of Champions, comprehensively beating Mark Selby 4-1 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

The Scot had top runs of 134 and 76 on his way to a very comfortable victory over the world number one, and will play either Barry Hawkins or Mark Allen in tonight’s Group 2 final.

Feeling fresh having not played since the European Tour’s Ruhr Open, Maguire pounced after Selby left the opening red over the corner pocket by producing a classy 134 clearance to take the first frame.

He was in first in the second before breaking down on 41, but was let back in after his opponent missed a cut while on a break of 55. Following a lengthy safety battle, the world number 15 knocked in a cracking long pink and sunk the black to go double his lead.

Selby (1)Maguire was comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Judd Trump in his opening game here last year, but moved himself a frame away from victory with a nice run of 76.

Leicester’s Selby stopped the rot with a 62 to pull one back but the reply was short-lived, as runs of 30 and 45 were enough to see Maguire record his first win over the Jester in five attempts.

“I played well,” he reflected. “I got off to a good start – you can’t ask for anything better than a century break from your first shot at the table. It set the standard and I kept it up, so I was quite pleased.

“I don’t know [how close I was to playing my best], I just try and pot them. I don’t know how well I can play but I certainly know how bad I can play.”

Maguire (3)Maguire admitted that feeling fresh after over a month off certainly helped his cause, but insisted that the opening frame was the key to victory.

“It played to my advantage in the end. I am not sure if Mark felt a bit tired as he has done a bit of travelling. But it could have worked the other way if Mark gets off to a good start and I haven’t had a lot of table time in the last month. It was more important for me to get off to a good start today and that was the difference in the end.

“Barry and Mark are both great players. I grew up with both of them and I am quite friendly with them so, whoever it is, I can watch them twitching about now while I relax.”

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