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He socked it big…

Stephen Maguire and Mark Allen met in the final at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Both came through the earlier rounds of the Coral Tour Championship, full of beans.

7 years since he won a ranking event in 2013 at the Welsh Open…

Previously, 39-year-old Maguire had racked up six of the best.

As Mark Allen had passed his flying colours beating the Mark Selby test.

The final started tentative and nervy as they went in even stevens at four all.

it was Maguire who set out the evening stall.

He came out all guns blazing in the evening with a high break of 139.

The next frame he won took a bit more time.

His six tons record in a best of 17 was equalled by Shaun Murphy.

But ol’ Stevie didn’t care because he was sitting in one of the two final chairs.

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in frame 11 Maguire was going well but fouled a red off a blue on 38

As Allen stole the frame with a 64, to the anger of Maguire’s rage.

The Glaswegian went into the mid-session two frames up 7 – 5.

Leaving Allen a bit to chew over in the snooker bubble player’s hive.

The aggressive determination in Stevie’s eyes were menacing, said Stephen Hendry.

‘He wants it’ does Stevie rubbing his hands with glee.

Stevie got in after the interval and made a cool 79.

Allen wondering if it just wasn’t his time.

Stevie was a replacement for Chinaman Junhui Ding

And getting all the way to the final he would earn some serious bling.

He only needed one more at 9 – 5.

Allen got in in the next to make a ton but was on for a 140 to beat the high break but missed to the pleasure of Stevie.

They both had a chuckle but pocketing an extra 10K for the high break isn’t a jokey.

Just under 50 mins and it was a sweaty 16th frame, and it came down to the colours.

Tension in the air.

Who would dare?

Both were snookering for England, trying to outwit the other.

As the finish line came near for Maguire, he needed pink and black to take 260K.

He ended up too close to the black but coolly potted it to make it his biggest payday.

Modest Stephen said after to Rob Walker he had flipped his way to the title.

Don’t be so modest Stephen, now performing in Sheffield is even more vital.

He’s looking forward to the cauldron at the Crucible.

For him, a win there is now very doable.

He said he needed a new pair of socks now he’s bagged some dough.

As he lifted the trophy above his head, with an almighty glow.

Congratulations Stephen Maguire, Coral Tour Championship winner 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

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All Fired Up…

Maguire: “I felt sharp.”

Stephen Maguire fired in a record six tons for a best of 17 on his way to a 9 – 5 win over Neil Robertson in the Coral Tour Championship in Milton Keynes over the weekend.

 

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It came as snooker made its second return to the Marshall Arena since the Championship League a couple of weeks ago as live sport was given the go-ahead to proceed since being stopped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown was then announced on the 23rd March.

Snooker led the way back for Live Sport on June 1st with the Championship League.

Maguire’s six tons included a 135 high break – all with a brand new cue.
It was the first time Maguire had played proper snooker in three months but said when he got the call saying he might be in it, due to Ding withdrawing, he said he was having a beer in his garden and said he guessed he should get his new cue out and practice a little.

Just flawless…

Seven times World Champion Stephen Hendry said it was just flawless snooker from the former UK Championship winner in 2004 and the best he’s seen Maguire play.
His pal Alan McManus said Maguire’s new sense of confidence came from a belief that he really does feel now like he is a top player and deserves to be among the World’s best players.
Maguire, 39, had also racked four tons on the bounce in the match, leading him to go 8 – 5.
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Live snooker can be watched on ITV4 and the event runs from Saturday June 20th to Friday June 26th.

Performance of the season…

Maguire said: ‘I felt sharp.’
But he seemed surprised by how well he played and quipped: That was a one-off fluke.’
He added, though: ‘it was pleasing.’

Stephen Maguire also adds his name to a list of players who have made four consecutive centuries in a match. John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, and Gary Wilson have all done it.

Less pressure with no crowds…

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Neil Robertson, who made two tons and holds the record for the number of tons in a season  -1 03, said after that because there was no crowd, there wasn’t as much pressure as there normally is. He reckoned because of that, you’ll expect the standard to be much higher for the rest of the event.
Robertson tweeted that his hair would get a trim before the World Championship in response to a fan: “Ha ha, yes, will have a good trim before the Worlds.
He also added: “No crowds means it’s just like practice. There is literally zero pressure. Also, the pockets were set up like an exhibition table. Impossible to miss when you’re in.”

First-round losers collect 20K prize money, but the money does not count as ranking points towards their ranking position.