Welsh Open - Maguire is the Newport King

Welsh Open - Maguire is the Newport King

Stephen Maguire has won the Betvictor Welsh Open 2013, his first ranking event title for five years. He came from 7-5 behind to beat Stuart Bingham 9-8 in a thrilling final at the Newport Centre.

Welsh Open Snooker

Results - Photos from Tai Chengzhe


Glasgow's Stephen Maguire has been a ever-present figure in snooker's elite top 16 since winning his European Open & UK Championship titles in 2004. 

Since capturing the 2008 China Open, he has been unable to find that same rich vein of form that took him to four ranking titles and in the past two years he lost in three major finals and seemed to have his confidence knocked.

However he managed to turn that all around this week at the Betvictor Welsh Open, and produced some tantalising snooker, including a 6-4 victory over Judd Trump in the semi-final, to add a fifth ranking title to his collection.

In the final he faced another seasoned professional in the shape of Stuart Bingham, who himself had been having a decent season.

Stephen Maguire Stuart Bingham Welsh Open Final 2013

Finalists: Stephen Maguire & Stuart Bingham (pic by Tai Chenzhe)

At the start of the afternoon session, it was the Scot who got the quickest start, racing to a 2-0 lead with runs of 71 and 62. Bingham took the next, before Maguire responded brilliantly, to take two of the next three with tons of 114 and 110.

It was Basildon's Bingham who finished the stronger of the pair though, as he made runs of 55 and 78 on the way to levelling the match at the interval, 4-4.

When they returned in the evening to a great reception from the packed Newport crowd, it was the Essex man who took the initative, winning three of the next four frames with breaks of 73 & 118 to give himself a dominant 7-5 lead.

Maguire looked down and out, but he managed to nick the following two scrappier frames to level the match, before a well timed run of 77 gave him the initiative at 8-7.

However it wasn't to end there, as Bingham produced some brilliant pots and made a crucial 58 in the 16th frame to force the decider. This was the first time since September's Shanghai Masters that we went down to the last frame in a ranking event final.

Bingham had the first chance, before he had bad luck and ended up on nothing after potting a good red. Safety ensued before a long red by Maguire got him in and  one of the best breaks of 82 you could ever see in a deciding frame followed, to give the Scotsman his elusive fifth ranking title after many years.

Stephen Maguire Snooker

Maguire was thrilled to get his hands on another trophy at last and was humble in victory: "I'm not sure what helped me recently. I suppose I have played so much snooker since the new year I am just incredibly match sharp."

"This will give me a huge boost going towards the end of the season. There aren't that many tournaments left now and to put my name on another trophy would be brilliant."

Next up for the snooker fraternity is the World Open in Haikou, China. Mark Allen won his first ranking title there last year, amidst a sea of controversy. Can he defend his title and avoid being fined?

The event will be broadcasted for the first time by ITV4, who are covering a major snooker event after a lenthy absense from the sport. Coverage will of course still be available on EuroSport.

Once again, congratulations to Stephen Maguire, a very worthy, winner in Newport!


 Stephen Maguire Snooker Welsh Open 2013

Stephen Maguire Snooker Welsh Open Champion 2013

Posted Feb 17, 2013
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