Congratulations to Stephen Maguire who has tonight defeated Jack Lisowski 4-3 to win the first UKPTC event of the new season following a thrilling final in Gloucester. Click below to read what Stephen had to say to me after the match…
- Click here to view the full results from the tournament at snookerorg
Having had chances to win in both the sixth and seventh frames it looked as though it was not going to be Stephen Maguire’s day as Jack Lisowski found himself in with a chance to clear with the colours lined up on their spots.
From the black however he just finished a little bit shorter than he would have ideally wanted on the yellow, and with the opportunity to win his first ranking event before him, could only rattle the jaws. A short tactical exchange followed but eventually it was the Scot who was able to clear for the narrowest of victories.
After the match I spoke to Stephen
PSB: That’s a great start to the season…
Stephen Maguire: “Yeah, we played a couple of tournaments in China but I’m using a different cue and stuff but I hadn’t settled and I wasn’t ready yet. I picked this cue up last week and so it has been a lucky cue so far!”
PSB: You changed that after the Crucible?
SM: “I changed the cue after the Crucible, played in China and Thailand with it, couldn’t play with it, so I picked this one up last week. I tried to move to a three-piece so it was easy to carry about, pure laziness and I can’t play with it, so I have gone back to a one-piece.”
PSB: And your thoughts on the match?
SM: “I should have won 4-2, anything that could go wrong, was going wrong. It would have been hard on me if I did lose that because I wasn’t missing anything, I wasn’t playing bad shots, it was just any wee flicks weren’t happening for me. Then in the last I had two glorious chances, one I never got a split and the other one I got a kick on the black, rolling a straight black in. The game was done and I got a kick on the black so I wasn’t thinking that it was going to end on good terms.”
PSB: What did you think when he came on the yellow, he was a bit short wasn’t he?
SM: “He was a bit short, obviously he was feeling the pressure and that shot on the black, it’s easy to leave yourself short, it’s the easy way out and he didn’t hit the black at all, which I can understand. I did notice that he had left himself a bit short and I thought that this is the only one that he could miss and lucky enough he did.”
PSB: How important are these PTCs to you, I know when you won in Munich that you said that they are a good warm-up, good practice, but obviously it is about the majors for you…
SM: “Yeah, I don’t count it as a ranking event, you’re not on the TV, you’re not on the big stage or whatever, but it’s getting that way, it’s very important for points. There are a lot of boys who are not doing well in the PTCs and they are actually doing alright in the ranking events and are not climbing so they are getting very important these PTCs.
PSB: So what is your attitude coming into the events?
SM: “To get through the first day. I just try my hardest to get through the first day and take it from there because it’s always nice coming in at the last 16 because you know that you are going to win it or lose it that day but on the first day you are not getting anywhere, so just try to get through the first three matches and if you do that you have a chance.”
PSB: And you feel like you are playing well?
SM: “I played well there, that was two good days, seven matches against good players. I came back against the man in form Barry Hawkins and I’m not known for comebacks, so that was a good result for me.
PSB: Finally what are your targets for the season?
SM: I want to get my name on a trophy definitely, winning a trophy, preferably one of the BBC ones. I try every year so I don’t know if this year is going to be any different!”
As Stephen says, it was a good way to start the season domestically, particularly with a new cue and he will now head into the second stage of the season with renewed confidence as he bids to capture that elusive trophy. As well as the £10,000 top prize, Stephen adds 2,000 important ranking points to his tally and will surely be among those competing at the Grand Finals next spring.
For Jack meanwhile it will be a bitter pill to swallow, but after what was a difficult second season for him in 2011/12, there are a lot of positives to take from the event for him. The way he played to defeat Judd Trump and Mark Williams earlier in the day, it will not be long before he is back in a position to win one of these and hopefully today’s experience will help him when he is.
More reflections will follow once I am home, while next up we have the qualifiers for the Shanghai Masters from Tuesday…