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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 November 2007, 22:28 GMT
Maguire beats O'Brien in NI final
Stephen Maguire
Maguire won the European Open and UK Championship in 2004
Stephen Maguire won his first ranking title in three years with a 9-5 victory over Fergal O'Brien in the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy in Belfast.

The 26-year-old Scot held a 4-3 lead after a tense first session, starting with a 60 before a 135 in the fifth.

He shared the opening two frames of the final session with the Irishman before moving three clear for a 7-4 lead.

O'Brien pinched one back but a missed red cost him in the 13th before Maguire sealed the win in the 14th with a 56.

606: DEBATE
Saj C

Maguire, who takes home a winner's cheque worth 30,000, was delighted to have ended his title drought.

"It is unbelievable winning this event, it really is another dream come true," said the Scot, who moves up from fourth to third in the world rankings.

"I'm really tired for some reason. I'm over the moon, it has been a long time coming.

"It has been three years since I've won a title and I've beaten some great players all week.

To come back and win another title is fantastic

Stephen Maguire

"I'm just really pleased. I few years ago I was struggling, so to come back and win another title is fantastic.

"It was a tough match, but I was really happy with the way I competed tonight. It was never going to be easy, but I'm so thrilled."

O'Brien, whose run to the final lifted him 12 places in the rankings to 19th, regretted the missed opportunity in the 13th frame but said he enjoyed his time in Belfast.

I enjoyed it- hopefully now this is the norm

Fergal O'Brien

"I think the better man won at the end of the day. I've had a great week, so I can't complain," said the Irishman, who was in his first ranking final since winning the 1999 British Open.

"I didn't do much wrong to be honest. I missed a couple, but I wouldn't say I played terrible.

"I won a good frame to go 7-5, but I missed a chance to go 7-6 and then I would have been right back in the thick of it.

"To be fair the break he made to go 8-5 was really good and gave him the breathing space and momentum to push on.

"It was great out there. I enjoyed it, hopefully now this is the norm. I don't want to be waiting another eight years for a final."

Shaun Murphy, who lost to Maguire in the semi-finals, is the new provisional world number one, going above first-round loser John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan, who bowed out in the quarter-finals.



SEE ALSO
O'Brien stuns Rocket in Belfast
09 Nov 07 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan hits 147 in NI Trophy
08 Nov 07 |  Snooker
O'Brien fightback stuns Higgins
07 Nov 07 |  Snooker
Robertson into NI Trophy last 16
06 Nov 07 |  Snooker
Northern Ireland Trophy results
08 Nov 07 |  Snooker


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