Martin Gould
Main News, Ranking, Tournaments, World Championship

Martin Gould: ‘I wasn’t convinced with the canned audience’

The “Pinner Potter” is into the second round at the Crucible for the first time since 2011.

Martin Gould powered through to the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship after a resounding 10-3 defeat of Stephen Maguire in Sheffield.

The latter had been in the conversation of likely contenders for the title in 2020 following his brilliant Tour Championship success in Milton Keynes last month.

But there wasn’t too much Maguire could have done as he came up against an inspired opponent in top scoring form.

In the encounter that wrapped up proceedings from the first round, Gould compiled a fantastic four century breaks en route to a 7-2 first-session lead.

After extending his cushion to 8-2, additional half century contributions either side of a missed maximum attempt from Maguire proved to be enough to see him advance.

“It does (mean a great deal). Obviously, I don’t wan’t to stop at the second round,” Gould said after the match.

“I want to keep going and keep going, but Kyren’s going to be a tough opposition. I know he’s had an extra week off, which could benefit him or it might not – I don’t know.”

“It’s nice to get another win at this lovely venue – I’ve actually enjoyed it with no crowd.

“It did take a couple of frames to get used to it. I wasn’t too convinced with the canned audience that they’ve got to start off with.

“I think whoever is pressing the buttons sometimes doesn’t quite get the timing right, but it didn’t put me off.

“I have enjoyed having no crowd, and maybe that’s what helped me to produce my best stuff.”

Gould, a former German Masters champion and member of the top 16, was in small danger of dropping off the Main Tour before the World Championship qualifiers began last month.

Hovering hazardously above the top 64 cut-off point, the three victories in the preliminaries more than safeguarded his place on the circuit.

The 38 year-old admitted that the poor run of form left him in a “dark place”, but Gould can now look forward to the possibility of reaching the quarter-finals in Sheffield for the first time in his career.

Elsewhere on the sixth day of the rescheduled World Championship, former finalist Barry Hawkins cruised into the last 16 with a routine 10-2 thumping of debutant Alexander Ursenbacher.

Hawkins didn’t produce a very high standard but was patient in mopping up after the umpteen mistakes that were made by the novice Swiss challenger.

A couple of second-round ties commenced too, with Mark Williams and Kurt Maflin establishing 5-3 leads over Stuart Bingham and John Higgins respectively.

Those clashes continue on Thursday with the likes of Judd Trump and Mark Selby rejoining the action as well.

Live coverage continues on the BBC, Eurosport, and Matchroom Live.

Click here to view the draw

Featured photo credit: WST

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