Tour Championship 2020 – Day 5 – SF

Stephen Maguire wasn’t anywhere near his best yesterday, he couldn’t reproduce the form he had shown against Neil Robertson, but still did beat Judd Trump by 9-6. They were locked at 6-6 when they resumed for the last mini-session, but from there, Stephen pulled away.

Both made a lot of mistakes. The difference was that Stephen, of all people, didn’t allow frustration to get the better of him. Judd was very much back to his old ways at times.

Here are the reports by WST:

Afternoon session:

There is nothing to choose between Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire after the first session of their Coral Tour Championship semi-final, which saw them share the frames and emerge with the score at 4-4.

Out of five matches so far this week, it is the fourth time that the players have been level following the afternoon session.

That means there are high stakes this evening, with the Coral Cup and the £100,000 series bonus on the line. It is awarded to the player who accumulates the most prize money over the three-event series. World number one Trump just needs to win tonight to secure the payout, while Maguire must win the tournament.

After a scrappy first three frames this afternoon, Scotland’s Maguire led 2-1. From there Trump made his move to take control of proceedings.

World Champion Trump levelled at the mid-session with a run of 97. A further break of 57 helped the Ace in the Pack to move ahead, before he added another frame to make it 4-2.

Maguire dug deep and halved his arrears, before both players asked for the balls to be changed. It had a positive effect for Maguire, who fired a sublime 132 break to make it 4-4.

They will return at 7pm to play the best of 17 match to a conclusion.

Evening session:

Stephen Maguire battled past World Champion Judd Trump 9-6 to reach the final of the Coral Tour Championship.

It’s been a tremendous run for Maguire, who fired in a remarkable six centuries in his first round win over Neil Robertson. The five-time ranking event winner was a late call-up to this week’s tournament. He replaced China’s Ding Junhui, who was unable to make it to Milton Keynes due to travel restrictions.

Tonight’s victory keeps Maguire in the frame for the bumper £100,000 payout attached to winning the Coral Cup, which is awarded to the player who amasses the most prize money over the three-event series.

Scotland’s Maguire needs to win the final and secure the £150,000 top prize, to dislodge today’s opponent Trump from the top of the standings. Despite losing, Trump will still secure the bonus if Maguire fails to take home the title.

Maguire, who was runner-up to Ding at this season’s UK Championship, will face Mark Selby or Mark Allen in the final on Friday. He will be aiming to end a ranking title drought which extends back to the 2013 Welsh Open.

Despite today’s out of sorts performance, Crucible king Trump will head to Sheffield in July confident of defending his world title. The Ace in the Pack has enjoyed an unprecedented season, having won a record six ranking titles across the campaign.

This afternoon’s action set up a tense evening of snooker, with the players sharing the opening eight frames and ending at 4-4.

They traded the first two frames tonight, before a break of 79 saw Trump edge ahead at 6-5. There was then a crucial 42-minute 12th frame, which turned the tide of the contest. It came down to the colours, with Maguire eventually potting a terrific long blue and setting up a clearance to the black that made it 6-6.

Breaks of 47 and 55 helped Maguire to move to the verge of victory at 8-6. He then clinched his fourth frame in a row, courtesy of a run of 56, to secure the 9-6 win.

“The close frames were the key to victory. I seemed to nick a lot of them, if not all of them, they are just as big as centuries,” said Maguire. “He was showing a little bit out there, he hasn’t been doing that. If he desperately wants to win, there is nothing wrong with that. Everybody desperately wants to win. I don’t mind players showing a bit of emotion. It’s a hard game out there.

“It would mean everything to win the title. It would get me back in that winner’s enclosure, against the top boys. Especially this tournament, this is a proper event. Leading up to the World Championship, it would give me mega confidence.”

The reports by WST are factually correct but don’t reflect the atmosphere oozing from the match. If you didn’t watch and in order to understand what I mean, here the report by Eurosport:

Stephen Maguire continued his dream run at the Tour Championship with a 9-6 win over world champion Judd Trump in the semi-finals.

The 2004 UK champion Maguire made a record six centuries in a best-of-17 frame match in Saturday’s 9-5 win over world number two Neil Robertson – an astonishing feat matched by Shaun Murphy in his 9-8 defeat to Mark Allen on Tuesday night.

But unlike his opening match behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, world number 14 Maguire never had to be at his best to overcome Trump, who surprisingly toiled for any level of consistency as his feared long game largely went AWOL.

“In good conditions, I play well, it’s just a shame the conditions were so bad,” said world number one Trump, who has lifted a record six ranking events this season.

I think I struggled the whole tournament really with the conditions. The conditions were pretty poor and that is why the standard was so bad.

“I think if the conditions are good, I seem to play well but when it’s (like that) out there you are fighting a losing battle really.

“It’s too hot to play snooker today I think.”

Maguire – who is only in the event involving the top eight on the world one-year list as first reserve after Ding Junhui opted not to fly from China – trailed 4-2 as Trump produced breaks of 97 and 57, but his scoring prowess was missing with Maguire enjoying 51 and a wonderful 132 to ensure the first session ended level at 4-4.

Apart from a knock of 79 to lead 6-5, Trump could not escape from his state of torpor and was duly punished with Maguire popping up to win the next four frames including a fine run of 55 in establishing a merited 8-6 advantage with a closing 56 providing the platform for his victory.

The Scotsman will face three-times world champion Mark Selby or former Masters holder Allen in the final over the best of 19 frames on Friday.

Maguire is bidding to win his first ranking event since the 2013 Welsh Open and could land £250,000 if he claims the title on Sunday – a £150,000 first prize and a £100,000 bonus for topping the money list over the three events sponsored by Coral, the World Grand Prix, the Players Championship and the Tour Championship.

“I’m over the moon,” said Maguire. “I think tonight I nicked the close frames. They are the same as making centuries. I’m just delighted.”

Trump must regroup as he bids to become the first maiden winner of the World Championship to successfully defend the trophy next month. He will be in action on the opening day of the event at the Crucible Theatre on 31 July.

And here is Judd Trump mini-interview:

That sounds very much like sour grapes. The truth is that he hasn’t played well since snooker “resumed”. His match sharpness is gone. He was poor in the Championship League Snooker last month, he was poor in this one as well and he surrendered to frustration. That’s the main reason why he was beaten. The conditions were the same for both. Maguire missed a good few as well, but he applied himself.

And it must be particularly sweet to Maguire after Trumps pre-match comments, stating that Maguire was missing two of the three ingredients making a great player; he has talent, but neither the temperament nor the dedication said Trump. ( source: Hector Nunns on twitter)



4 thoughts on “Tour Championship 2020 – Day 5 – SF

  1. Yes it would be the biggest result of his career if Maguire won. Coming into the tournament as a replacement does give him a psychological advantage.

    To be fair, Trump was extremely unlucky at times yesterday. But obviously his level since the lockdown hasn’t reached the heights of before.

    • Maguire as well was extremely unlucky at times, and both had their share of surprising misses. Very likely the conditions were difficult, I’m not questioning that, but they were the same for both.

  2. Ridiculous reaction by Trump, but at least now I’m happy with any winner of this tournament, though I would really enjoy if Maguire could win it, I was rooting hard for him at the UK too, but to no avail. Will root for him now.

Comments are closed.