Royal London Watches Grand Prix 2008: Shotgun blasts through second seed Maguire

The clash between Stephen Maguire and Jamie Cope was on paper one of the hardest matches to call of the first round, but in the end it turned out to be a fairly one sided affair. Click below to read about this and the match between Ding Junhui and Jamie Burnett…

Jamie Cope 5-1 Stephen Maguire

An impressive performance from world number 19 Jamie Cope saw the man from Stoke send local hero Stephen Maguire crashing out of his home tournament at the first stage this afternoon.

In truth Maguire never really managed to get going and Cope started as he meant to go on with a superb break of 79 to take the opening frame. The second looked to be heading the same way before a surprising miss from Jamie when 40 points ahead. Stephen soon was in amongst the balls and produced a couple of terrific shots to give himself a chance of clearing up before failing at the final pink. Cope duly knocked this in for a 2-0 lead and he was already in a strong position.

Frame three again saw Jamie in first before again he made a mistake by missing a relatively straightforward black. This was not to prove costly however as a poor attempt to double a red into the right centre pocket from Maguire let him straight back in for 3-0.

The final frame before the interval summed it up for Maguire as when he looked set to take it and give himself hope at the interval, when playing on a colour from the penultimate red, he chose to take the pink, rather than the black which would have given him the frame. Having realised his error he duly missed the final red which allowed Jamie to clear the table and force a re-spotted black which he took full advantage of for a 4-0 interval lead.

Although Maguire took frame five to avoid the whitewash and Cope began to look slightly edgy in frame six, Stephen never really looked like being able to do anything about the huge lead that Jamie had and the match was soon to be over at 5-1.

Stephen will be very disappointed not to perform well in front of his home crowd, as well as giving Ronnie O’Sullivan a chance to extend his lead at the top of the rankings once again. I’m not sure whether he was nervous or whether he was trying too hard, but after the first couple of frames he just didn’t look to be comfortable.

Jamie meanwhile will be delighted to reach the last 16 of the tournament that he made the final of in 2006 and is certainly a player that nobody will want to draw in the next round. His safety game isn’t as good as it might be but when he can pot like he can, he is capable of beating anybody.

Ding Junhui 5-0 Jamie Burnett

Like Stephen Hendry yesterday, Ding Junhui today managed to win his first match of the season and helped to arrest his current slide down the provisional rankings.

Ding’s opponent, Scotland’s Jamie Burnett, had spoken pre-match about how Ding could lose interest and show weakness if he fell behind early in the match, but thanks to a fluke on a long red to the yellow pocket in the opener, Jamie never had a chance to prove this as Ding took the opener. While Ding never looked to be at his best Jamie simply did not put him under any kind of pressure and the match quickly began to run away from him.

Ding will be hugely relived to get a win under his belt as he has been in very poor form recently for someone of his class, losing his opening two matches in ranking events this season as well as suffering a couple of poor defeats in the Premier League. He will be hoping to avoid the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan in tomorrow’s last 16 draw as he looks to gain some momentum in Glasgow.