Third man through to the semi-finals of the 2011 Scottish Professional Championship is 2006 world champion Graeme Dott with recorded a 5-2 victory against James McBain…
Match Summary Chris Irving
Graeme Dott produced a battling performance to see off a plucky James McBain in the Scottish Professional Championships in Clydebank. The former world champion had to dig deep and produced some great snooker in flashes against his stubborn opponent.
With both players at opposite ends of the world rankings, this looked a like a foregone conclusion before the match but sport isn’t played on paper and McBain proved that by snatching the first frame albeit with a relatively low score of 55. However, you can’t keep quality players like Dott down for long and the safety play without doubt took the 2010 world finalist to the second frame. He played two marvellous shots, hanging the blue over the pocket when McBain needed a snooker to stay in the frame. The shot was simply too good and Dott took the frame to pull level.
McBain was left to rue a missed opportunity in the third and Dott’s long-potting was the difference and he produced an oustanding long shot to take the lead before pushing on in the fourth to go into the break 3-1 up. However, McBain dug deep and found something to pull off a break of 61, followed by a 28 to take the frame by 95-0. Neither player really pressed home their advantage but Dott done just enough to take a two-frame lead with a lovely pot to sustain a 46 break that eventually won him the frame.
As already mentioned, Dott’s long potting was simply outstanding and it won him the match in the seventh frame as he made the most of the one opportunity given to him, making a break of 51 to take the match but the scoreline was harsh on McBain who kept with his superior opponent all afternoon and battled away.
Dott was a happy man afterwards, saying,
“Any win is a good win. James is a good player so it was always going to be hard for me but the last long pot was good to keep my break going but I can do better than that.”
Graeme also stressed the importance of cutting out the silly mistakes. He groaned,
“I feel good but I’m making ridiculous mistakes that must be eradicated. I’m playing well in patches but I need to try and cut out the rubbish and I’ll need to play better than that tomorrow to reach the final.”
James was pleased with his overall performance but admitted he had chances to stay in the game towards the end. He said
“I thought it was close and I missed a few good chances to stay in it. Graeme deserved the win in the end but the scoreline didn’t really reflect what was a close match and he only really pulled away in one of the frames and apart from that it was quite tense.”
He expressed a sense of regret at the lack of heavy scoring in his play, saying,
“I had a few chances but didn’t score heavily enough and against someone of Graeme’s quality it’s not good enough and he will always punish you. However, it was a good way for me to end the season but he looks as if he can go all the way.”
Graeme will now face the winner of the quarter-final between local pro Anthony McGill and Stephen Maguire in what will be a thrilling encounter in front of a packed local crowd.