Stephen Maguire Thrashes Rory McLeod

Stephen Maguire hammered Rory McLeod 13-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship with a session to spare on Sunday.

Stephen Maguire
Maguire had lost in the first round for the last four years. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

An unusual schedule made it appear as though there’d be no match conclusions on the second Sunday in Sheffield, but Maguire raced away to record a convincing victory over the 46 year-old.

McLeod had caused one of the tournament’s biggest ever shocks when he overcame pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump in the opening round.

It resulted in a huge opportunity for Maguire, a twice former semi-finalist at the Crucible, to feature at the business end of the tournament for the first time in five years.

The Scot duly capitalised and was never troubled as he coasted to a routine triumph over his fellow qualifier.

McLeod battled gamely throughout, especially in the safety stakes, but was wasteful when in amongst the balls.

Maguire’s major requirement was to be patient, something he has struggled with in the past, but the former world number two dealt with the occasion well.

The five-time ranking event winner fired in runs of 114 and 90, as well five other half century breaks, to seal the two-session success and book a place in the next round against either Barry Hawkins or Graeme Dott.

Hawkins won both of his first two sessions with the 2006 world champion 5-3 to establish a 10-6 advantage heading into Monday’s final day of last 16 action.

It could have been better for the World Grand Prix champion but Dott fought back strongly from 9-3 down to trail by only four.

It might have been better for the Scot but he lost a tight final frame of the session, which leaves him with a mini mountain to climb.

Reigning champion Mark Selby enjoys a similar cushion after a hard-fought second session with Xiao Guodong was shared.

Xiao was left to rue missed opportunities to draw closer but at least won the last two frames of the session to trail 10-6 overnight.

In the other second round fixture, Neil Robertson and Marco Fu are heading for a dramatic climax with the scores tied at 8-8.

After a couple of scrappy frames were initially shared, the duo compiled a string of sizable contributions but neither could forge clear.

Robertson and Fu will have the arena to themselves on Monday evening after Maguire’s early victory so there’s sure to be a terrific atmosphere inside the venue as they attempt to complete the last eight line-up.

Click here to view the draw.

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