Scottish Professional Championship 2011: Hendry Ousts McManus

Stephen Hendry may have more than half an eye on the World Championship but he made no mistake when it came to the task in hand, coming through against Alan McManus in the first quarter-final of this season’s Scottish Professional Championship…

Match summary by Chris Irving
Stephen Hendry 5-2 Alan McManus

Seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry came through a scrappy encounter with Alan McManus to progress to the semi-finals of the Scottish Snooker Championships in Clydebank. Hendry has history with this tournament, winning it on a couple of occasions in his early years and he will be looking to go all the way again this time round.

It was a scrappy encounter overall as both players sturggles to get any fluency in their play, the majority of frames plagued with missed chances by both players to build a break. Due to his position in the rankings, McManus was forced to play a preliminary round last week and the match practice clearly benefited the veteran pro who dug deep to take the first frame after some impressive safety play from both players.

However, it didn’t take long for the champion to show his class, pulling off an impressive century break of 113 to take the lead after battling back to 1-1 with a low but effective break of 33 to stop McManus in his tracks. Stephen went into the break 3-1 up in what was yet another scrappy frame but McManus clearly wasn’t going to exit this tournament on a mere whimper. He showed plenty of grit and determination to give himself a lifeline after the break, pulling back a frame and yet again playing some effective safety play.

However, they say champions grind out results and Hendry did just that in the sixth frame, doing just enough to edge the frame and he was now only one frame away from the semis. Now oozing with confidence after coming through a tough couple of frames riddled with errors, Hendry produced a bit of quality to seal the win, racking up an impressive break of 95.

He was obviously a delighted figure afterwards saying, “It’s was nice to eventually get the win. When you play Alan you know it’s always going to be tough and with him you know you are in a game straight from the off so it’s nice to get through.”

When asked about the prospect of meeting John Higgins in the semi-final he said, “Well that would be great and if it happened I’m sure there would be a great atmosphere in here.

McManus was clearly disappointed with himself after the match but gave credit where it’s due. He admitted, “Stephen was a bit more solid in amongst the balls and that was the difference. There were a couple of frames that I should have won that would maybe have turned things around but I missed the chance to go in at the break level and I was punished for that.”

He also spoke of his delight at playing someone of the quality of Hendry. He said, “It’s always nice to play Stephen and the crowd were great so it was a good day despite the result.