Betfred.com World Snooker Championship 2012 - Maguire beats Bullet Brecel
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Young Belgian talent Luca Brecel already had become the the youngest player to qualify for the Crucible having came through four rounds of qualifiers. In his first session against Stephen Maguire he performed strongly in patches including a 104 (making him the youngest ever to make a Century at the Crucible) but Maguire's superior scoring kept him off the table for the Scot to take a 6-3 lead overnight.
In today's session Brecel got off to the best possible start with a 86 to put him only two behind Maguire. However Maguire stepped up the gears from there and top runs of 101 and 94 helped him to a dominating 9-4 lead. Brecel managed to take the next but in the end it was to late for the Belgian Bullet as Maguire got over the line to win 10-5.
The 17-year-old said after the match with the help of coach and translator Chris Henry 'I didn't play the same way as I did in the qualifiers, it was nothing about the Crucible atmosphere that affected my game.'
'I loved playing here, the crowd was enthusiastic, this place is special. Next year will be different, I hope to play much better'
Brecel is due to drop off the tour at the end of the championship as he falls outside the top 64 in the rankings. When asked he admits not to have being offered the wildcard yet, but based on his performance it would be hard to see him not getting one. His fluent and attacking play is highly entertaining and no doubt whether through the Q School or via another system we will be seeing him here again soon.
Maguire seemed relieved to get past the first hurdle considering his disappointments in recent months including losing 10-9 to Peter Ebdon in the China Open final.
'I was glad when the interval came, he was playing well at the start. Luckily for me he missed a few and gave me chances allowing me to win frames.
'Not been thinking about titles this week or any other time recently. I know I will need to improve in the next round so I will be hitting the practice table.
'Speaking of his history at the Crucible 'Its my ninth time here, I am disappointed with how its gone (only one semi-final) but there is always time to improve.'
When asked about his opponent 'World Snooker world be daft to not give him a wildcard for the next season, there's not a 17-year-old in the world who can play as good as him at the moment.
'I hope I don't draw him next year, he is a definite world champion of the future for sure.' Click here and here to watch both press conferences in full
Maguire could face another Scot in the next round in the shape of Graeme Dott. The 2006 world champion has a tough first round tie against Joe Perry who recently beating him in the PTC Grand Finals in Galway.
However on the other side of the screen it wasn't going according to plan for former Grand Prix champion Marco Fu who was shocked to find himself 8-1 down to Matthew Stevens at the end of the session.
The Welshman wasn't playing at his best either but three half centuries helped him quickly establish a 7-0 lead. Stevens came through another scrappy frame to go 8-0 and the first whitewash in 20 years looked imminent.
Thankfully for Fu he managed to scrape a frame with the help of a 51 break to ensure a small amount of hope remains for Hong Kong player.