Ebdon3

Ebdon Edges Maguire to Capture Ninth Ranking Title in Beijing

Congratulations to Peter Ebdon who has tonight defeated Stephen Maguire 10-9 in a match that lasted over seven and a half hours to win his ninth ranking event title at the 2012 China Open. Taking the top prize of £70,000 together with 7,000 crucial ranking points, the result caps off a remarkable week for the 2002 world champion…

  • Click here to view the final drawsheet
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings

It seems like a long time ago now but the day began at 7:30am BST with the first couple of frames being shared between our finalists Peter Ebdon and Stephen Maguire, both former winners of the event in Beijing.

Having taken the third frame however, it was Peter who would then assert himself on the match, taking a 40 minute fourth frame to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval, before adding an hour-long fifth as it became clear that the session would be cut short long before the scheduled nine frames were played to a conclusion. As it happened there was just time to squeeze another frame in and with Maguire bereft of any fluency or rhythm, Peter took full advantage with his second century of the match to lead 5-1 at the break.

To his credit however, Maguire to the surprise of some what able to keep his discipline, despite the slow-burn nature of the final that had up until now played into the hands of his experienced opponent. The Scot took a crucial seventh frame to keep himself just about in touch, before the following frames were to be shared, Ebdon just about managing to keep his nose in front.

The pace however was quickening and this undoubtedly suited Maguire who began to take frames in one-visit, eventually reeling in his opponent to level the match at 8-8 as the clock approached midnight.

Having started to miss a few balls, the pressure was now on Ebdon. Was he starting to tire after not just a long day, but a long week with gruelling matches against Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and John Higgins behind him?

If he was, he did not show it in frame 17 as he moved in front once again with a terrific century break, his fourth of the final and notably, the 300th of his 21-year professional career to date. The match though had a decider written all over it for a while previously and after a tight penultimate frame, Maguire was able to clear to the final pink to ensure that the match would go the distance.

The early exchanges were tight in the decider and for a long time it was Maguire who looked to have the upper hand, but the run of the ball was not to be with him and he could never quite work the cueball into perfect position. Eventually it was to be Ebdon who would earn himself the best chance with a stunning red and despite a miss when at full-stretch, the subsequent miss from Maguire would prove to be his last shot as Ebdon ended a memorable match.

Following the disappointing opening session to the final, the standard was much-improved during the second and credit has to go to Maguire who aside from wild shot in frame nine following a stroke of luck for his opponent, maintained his composure well and exhibited the underlying confidence that he has in his game at present. The way that he has played thus far in 2012, I hope that his next major ranking event title is not too far away as he is playing as well as most at the moment.

Today however belongs to Peter who after a deeply disappointing season on the table to date which saw him drop out of the top 16 of the world rankings at the first cut-off, has hit a rich vein of form in Beijing, just as in 2009 when he last captured the title after a similarly difficult run. As well as his determination and will to win which as ever were in evidence today, what really impressed  was his scoring and particularly his pressure balls, indeed while Maguire missed a few to the centre-pockets, Ebdon was near-flawless in that department.

The result lifts Ebdon to 20th in the latest projected seedings list from a starting position of 28th this week, and makes him one to avoid in the upcoming draw for the World Championship, if of course he is able to qualify in a couple of weeks time. One word of caution however, following his last victory in China back in 2009, he could not reproduce that form at the Crucible where he lost an opening round clash against Nigel Bond.

Another bonus for Peter is that victory also sees him become the ninth player to assure himself of a place in the 2012 Premier League, something that will no doubt be interesting to see given the shot clock in operation in that particular competition. How will he handle that I wonder?

But that is for next season. For now, April is all about the World Championship, with the qualifiers set to begin on Thursday. Stay tuned for extensive coverage of the tournament here at PSB from Monday…

 

  • ali

    Ebbyyyy! He’s back. Where does he move to on the projected Ranking list?

  • dom

    this ebby is rubbish, he in anti-snooker, anti-show. It is like scoring a goal when there is no goalie, winning a game from a penalty…he takes AGES to pot a ball…ridiculous, he hides the ball all the time, he is afraid to play an open mach…rubbish

    • likahokeith

      I don’t think so, he has potted four centuries in final, he can also play fast too.

  • Nige

    I don’t agree with you Dom. Yes Ebdon is not a fast player, but he is one of the game’s most fascinating, eccentric characters. Some of the shots he comes out with are outrageous and very courageous, shots that would never even occur to other players, and the intensity with which he plays makes it appear that he is struggling to keep his emotions under control (often without success early on in his career). Don’t always agree with everything he has to say, but all in all he stands apart from the rest as a unique character.

  • RM

    Well done Peter! He may be slow at times, but he’s obviously not negative as he made four centuries this final and 300 in career overall. Maguire was so close and will have to wait a while longer before his next ranking title, although he’s certainly due one.

  • Tom

    great to see Peter win and qualify for the premier league in the meantime!

    I really enjoying watching Peter play as he’s so determined to win and when he’s potting balls his break-building is really fun to watch. I understand people hate his slow play but I enjoying watching him and Ronnie the most and their styles are opposite :)

    Peter was actually very good in the championship league this year, played fluently and fast. I sure he just adopted the slow play in China to wear down his opponents as his mental strength has always been one of his strongest weapons.

    Great win for Snooker!

  • ANON

    Have to salute Ebdon’s strength, courage and indefatigability. Having been World Champion (beating Hendry in the final remember) he has nothing to prove in snooker. Lately you sometimes got the impression that he continued on the tour only because his off-table ventures keep turning turtle on him, but then he puts in a performance like this which shows his will to win is still as strong as ever.

    We all like watching attacking players like Jimmy, Ronnie and Judd in full flow, but watching players who take on everything without having the game to do so (i.e Liang, Wattana) can be as painful as watching the grinders. Those slating Ebdon should remember that there are plenty of notoriously slow players (Lawler, Gunnell, McLeod) who will never win ranking titles – for me there is a big difference between what those guys do (grinding out results against younger, more inexperienced players in order to stay on the tour) and what players like Ebdon and Selby do to ranking events.

    This will almost certainly be Ebdon’s last chance to take part in the Premier League, but even so I can’t help but wonder if a financial deal will be done, and Ebdon will end up formally ‘declining’ the invite.

  • Allineas

    @ANON: You are a bit harsh on the ‘grinders’, I think. They all are strong players – if they weren’t, they would drop off the tour (Okay, Lawler and Gunnell are in danger atm, but at least they used to be strong enough, and McLeod is far away from losing his place). There are plenty of other, faster players who are just as unlikely to win an event (for example Robert Milkins, who currently sits right next to McLeod in the projected seedings). Does Milkins deserve this place more than McLeod? Or how about Ken Doherty, who is also in the same position, but with more negative prospects?
    This doesn’t mean I am a big fan of McLeod, but I acknowledge that he is a good player. And if he didn’t win that occasional match against a young player, someone else would. No young talent will be ‘destroyed’ by one grinder; if they can’t get to higher rankings, they were simply not as good as McLeod (and everyone else up there), so they didn’t deserve it.
    In the end, Ebdon is no different from McLeod, just a bit better overall (yes, a large bit). Like McLeod is also just a bit better than Lawler.

    @topic: I don’t really like Peter Ebdon (not only for his playing style, which actually doesn’t bother me too much), but like so many others, I admire his determination. His name is one to be remembered, and during this week he has shown again why.