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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 22:27 GMT
Superb Maguire claims final spot
Stephen Maguire
Maguire claimed six successive frames in the afternoon session
Stephen Maguire clinched his place in the final of the Maplin UK Championship with a 9-5 victory over Shaun Murphy at the Telford International Centre.

Maguire had taken a 7-1 lead earlier in the day, but Murphy fought back to claim four frames of the evening session, including a fine 144 break.

But breaks of 70 and 84 ensured Maguire will take his place in Sunday's final.

The Scot will play the winner of the second semi-final between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby on Saturday.

And world number 10 Maguire is hoping to face two-time world champion O'Sullivan in Sunday's climax.

"If it is Ronnie I hope he plays his best because it's the biggest test for me this week," said Maguire.

"He's played the best this week. I'd like to play Ronnie in the final."

Maguire began the match in confident fashion and took the first frame with a break of 69 before Murphy responded with breaks of 43 and 86 to level the score in the second.


But Maguire soon began to boss proceedings, claiming successive century breaks in the fourth and fifth frames to power into a 4-1 lead.

And he extended his lead by a further three frames to go into the interval 7-1 up, requiring two more frames in the evening session to clinch his place in the final.

However Murphy began the final session with a blistering 144 break, the highest of the tournament so far.

The 2005 world champion continued his good form when he took the 10th frame, but Maguire edged within one frame of victory with a solid break of 70 in the 11th.

But once again Murphy displayed his resilience, taking the next two frames before Maguire wrapped up proceedings with a break of 105.

"I've said all week that I'd have to improve to beat top players and he's provisionally number one, so you don't get any tougher than that," said Maguire.

Murphy admitted his poor start in the afternoon session was to blame for his defeat.

"I gave him too much of a lead and you can't give players like Stephen too much of a head start," he said.

"I don't really feel as though I didn't anything dramatically wrong (in the opening session), he just played so well and I struggled to play with him."

UK Championship results/schedule
11 Dec 07 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan cruises into quarters
11 Dec 07 |  Snooker


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