Martin Gould is into the Australian Goldfields Open final after a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Stephen Maguire in Bendigo on Saturday.
The Englishman will play John Higgins for the title on Sunday, after the four-time world champion impressively came from 4-0 down to beat Jamie Jones 6-4 earlier today.
Gould began his semi-final as the second favourite, with the more prominently successful Maguire highly fancied to book what would have been an intriguing all-Scottish meeting with World Cup teammate Higgins.
However, a combination of excellent snooker from Gould and a lacklustre performance by his opponent led to the outcome becoming a runaway result in his favour.
The 33 year-old began the last four clash in confident fashion with breaks of 54, 82 and 87 helping him to establish an early 3-0 lead as he capitalised on a mixture of poor form and even worse fortune for Maguire.
It got even worse for the Glaswegian as he damaged his tip trying to get out of a snooker in the fourth frame, needing to leave the arena for a few moments to try a quick-fix mend.
On the return, Gould added another frame to take a four-frame cushion into the mid-session interval.
While Higgins had reversed the same scoreline in the afternoon session, he did so with supreme play that stunned his challenger, but that never looked likely in Maguire’s case.
The five-time ranking event winner did manage a 61 to avoid the whitewash but, struggling with both his tip and his game, was unable to pressure Gould any further.
When the Pinner Potter went 5-1 clear, he would have been forgiven if his head had have resorted to his previous big semi-final this year at the World Grand Prix when he let a similar lead slip to Judd Trump.
But he was not to be denied on this occasion, compiling a cool even century to finish the job and seal his second ever ranking event final berth – four years after he lost to Shaun Murphy in the final of the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals in Dublin.
In the best of 17 contest tomorrow, Higgins is understandably going to be considered the obvious favourite for glory Down Under.
The 40 year-old played brilliantly in his last six frames to stun Welshman Jones today and if he carries that form into the final showdown it’ll be difficult for the inexperienced Gould.
Higgins is going for his 27th ranking event trophy to equal Ronnie O’Sullivan in the all-time list, whereas Gould will be bidding for his first.
That said, Gould hasn’t let much faze him this week and by all accounts has been working hard with coach Steve Feeney in the off-season to get his game into gear for the new campaign.
Association with Feeney certainly worked for new world champion Stuart Bingham, whose own maiden ranking event success came at this very tournament back in 2011.
Categories: Snooker News