Bailey Allen Hall, Galway - March 14-18
TOURNAMENT DRAW - WATCH LIVE - LIVE SCORES - PHOTOS BY MONIQUE LIMBOS
Betfair PTC Grand Finals 2012 - Semi-Finals
Stephen Lee 4-2 Andrew Higginson
Stephen Lee booked his place in the final of the Betfair PTC Grand Finals in Galway, beating Andrew Higginson 4-2 in the first of todays semi-finals.
As has characterized a lot of matches this week the opening exchanges were scrappy but it was Lee who took the first frame to lead 1-0. Lee lead 43-1 in the next as well but a missed red allowed Higginson to level with a 65 clearance.
Higginson again looked set to nick the third but having come to the table trailing 54-8 he missed a tricky green to the centre on 51 allowing Lee to step in and make it 2-1.
It was here the match suddenly sprung to life with Higginson again leveling things with a run of 104 before Lee made it 3-2 with a break of 102. He then completed his 4-2 victory with an impressive 82 break.
“We both started slowly but I think that’s the pressure of playing best of 7’s, you know if you don’t get a good start you could be gone” said Lee.
“I should have made it 2-0 but he’s come in made a century to make it 2-2 and you could tell he fancied it from there .I managed to hit a century in the next and finished it out well which is pleasing.”
Lee who has now reached back to back ranking finals is hoping to go one better following his defeat to Mark Allen in the The World Open final earlier this month. is enjoying his recent run of form.
“I’ve taken a lot of the pressure off myself by moving house. I’m enjoying playing and I think the increase in the number of tournaments has helped me because I’m not one for practicing seven hours a day. This form has been a long time coming and until it does you can never be sure it will“
Lee can now set his sights on tonights final as he goes in search of his fifth ranking event victory as well as the £70,000 top prize.
Neil Robertson 4-0 Stephen Maguire
Stephen Lee's opponent in tonight's final will be Masters champion Neil Robertson who recorded an impressive 4-0 victory over Stephen Maguire this afternoon.
Robertson who hit a 131 in the opening frame of his quarter final to equal the high break set by Ricky Walden looked set to better it in todays first frame only to run out of position on the yellow with the break on 110.
Robertson made it 3-0 with runs of 45 and 84 and it wasn’t until frame four that Maguire managed to get in first. He could only manage 24 however and the Australian saw out the win with a 62 break to seal his 4-0 victory.
“Stephen [Maguire] has a really good record against me so it was important in this short format to get off to a good start “ said Robertson.
“I played really well and cut out the mistakes from last night. I’ve got better and better as the tournament has gone on which I always do when I get to the later stages and I am looking forward to a great final tonight against Stephen [Lee].”
Robertson has been accompanied by his brother Mark this week who has flown over to help the 2010 world champion prepare for this years event. ”My brother has come over this year to make sure I prepare properly for the Crucible this time because I didn’t last year, I didn’t really give myself a chance.”
The Aussie who has never lost in his nine previous televised finals will be aiming to make it a perfect 10 tonight and win his first full ranking event title since the 2010 World Open.
Match reports by Daniel Clarke.