Rory Wins Wembley Wildcard!

What a year it has been for Rory McLeod, having qualified for the Crucible for the first time back in the spring, the 38-year-old has now defeated Andrew Higginson and Ben Woollaston today to earn a debut at Wembley in the 2010 Masters…

Rory McLeod 6-1 Andrew Higginson

37-74, 48-28, 53-28, 82(56)-0, 63(38)-58, 58-50, 53-24

Coming into today’s semi-finals, the four remaining players must all have fancied their chances of making it to the Wembley as all have been playing well this week and taken some notable scalps along the way.

For Ben Woollaston however his hopes were soon dashed as Rory handed him a 5-1 defeat to book his place in the final. The other semi-final though was a closer affair, with several breaks over 50 from both players including yet another career century for Anthony Hamilton, but in the end it was Higginson who managed to take the final three frames to secure an impressive 5-3 win.

Perhaps this took it out of him for the final however as that proved to be a one-sided match, judging by the final 6-1 scoreline at least. Closer analysis however tells a slightly different story as Rory took a number of close frames, notably the first two after the mid-session interval that he stole 63-58 and 58-50 to leave Higginson with an almost impossible task. Andrew though was not at his best and with a high break of just 29, succumbed to a 6-1 defeat in the very next frame.

This is a fabulous victory for Rory and one that will be a significant boost to his morale following a couple of early exits from the first two ranking events of the season. Looking ahead to January, amusingly enough his Masters bow could come against the man who he faced in the last 32 at the Crucible, world number 16 Mark King. Hopefully if that is the case, the match will be a little quicker this time as of course back in April their match was hard work!