Debutant McGill Denies Maguire Comeback

Anthony McGill caused the biggest upset of the 2015 World Championship so far after knocking out countryman Stephen Maguire in a decider on Sunday.

McGill has been on the circuit since 2010 - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
McGill has been on the circuit since 2010 – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

In this fiercely contested battle of the Scots, the debutant withstood a spirited fight back by his more experienced opponent and impressively claimed his maiden victory at the Crucible with his first ever ton on the famous stage.

It had looked as though the 24 year-old was going to coast to victory when, despite losing the opening frame of the second session to see his 6-3 overnight lead reduced to only two frames, he won three out of the next four to go 9-5 clear.

However, Maguire, who on Saturday fell foul of the weak side of his angry temperament, relied heavily on his dogged tenacity late on to force his way back into the contest.

Breaks of 51, 81 and 56 helped him back to just one behind and he took the penultimate frame as well to square the match up at 9-9.

But the two-time semi-finalist never had a chance in the shoot-out as a composed McGill compiled a superb 122 to book a second round meeting with defending champion Mark Selby.

McGill has been widely tipped as a future top 16 player and more ever since his run to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York, and this triumph further underlines his undoubted pedigree.

For Maguire, though, it marks the fourth occasion in five years that the 34 year-old heads home after becoming a┬ávictim of the opening round, and one has to question whether he’ll ever get close to winning a World Championship again.

There were three other results on a busy second day in Sheffield.

Four-time champion John Higgins scored heavily with breaks of 77, 75, 69 and 106 to comfortably see off the challenge of Robert Milkins 10-5 while another Scot and former champion Graeme Dott overcame Ricky Walden 10-8 in a tense conclusion.

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu joined them in the last 16 after emerging from a tricky test against Jimmy Robertson 10-6 – the turning point coming in the 14th frame when the latter had the opportunity to level but ended up losing it on the colours.

Elsewhere, seeds Neil Robertson and Barry Hawkins established big leads in their respective ties against Jamie Jones and Matthew Selt, both boasting 7-2 scorelines going into their concluding session on Monday.

Day three will also see the clash between Stuart Bingham and Robbie Williams completed, while the Ali Carter versus Alan McManus affair and the Ding Junhui-Mark Davis encounter both get under way as well.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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