Saturday, 19 February 2011

Maguire sets up all-Scottish final

Luck favours the brave, they say.

That was certainly the case tonight as Stephen Maguire emerged a slender 6-5 winner in his thrilling Welsh Open semi-final against Mark Selby.

From the moment the first cue ball was hit, this match was a severe clash of styles. Selby was intent on making it a safety battle, while Maguire was keen to press on and attack his way to the finish line.

In the end, both players got what they wanted. The match was a great blend between attack and defence, which probably explains why it finished so closely.

Maguire made two centuries on the night and pulled off plenty of impressive pots. Selby turned plenty down but asked Maguire some big questions. There were spells when this game got boggy. But instead of caving in, Maguire stuck by his natural instincts and potted his way to the final.

His victory doesn't mean Selby's way is the the wrong way, far from it. But as a neutral, it's nice from time to time to see attacking bravery rewarded.

Maguire's reward is a place in his first ever Welsh Open final, and against his fellow countryman John Higgins.

This is the first all-Scottish ranking event final since the Malta Cup way back in 2005. This wasn't on the cards a few days back, in a tournament where the home hopes dominated the early rounds.

Stephen and John are great friends. It will be a good final, but after this gruelling affair, it'll be interesting to see just how much this marathon match has taken out of Maguire.

No comments:

Post a Comment