It’s truthful to say that not many individuals would have predicted a Mark Allen v Stephen Maguire last. Though, not a complete shock, as a result of in spite of everything, that is solely a event for the present prime eight on this planet. Which by the way, was prolonged to ninth place (Maguire) because of Ding Junhui’s withdrawal. Nevertheless, on paper,the likes of Trump, Robertson and Selby would have been the extra probably finalists.
Stephen Maguire has had his finest season for a lot of a 12 months. Already this season, he has gained the World Cup (with John Higgins), the 6 Reds, runner up within the UK Championship and now a finalist in The Coral Tour Championship. On paper, he had arguably the hardest path to the ultimate. He beat Neil Robertson 9-5 within the QF, making six centuries within the course of. In his semi-final he confronted the formidable Judd Trump, already a winner of six rating occasions this season. Trump, nevertheless, didn’t play to his finest, however, take nothing away from Maguire, whereas he didn’t play in addition to he did towards Robertson, beating Judd Trump 9-6 is not any fluke.
Mark Allen’s 9-2 victory over Mark Selby was as facile as they arrive. That’s one thing you’d by no means normally say about any victory over Selby, who’s a battle hardened fighter. Nevertheless, he put in one more poor efficiency, which has turn into one thing of an everyday theme over the previous two seasons. Within the the QF, Allen beat his good buddy Shaun Murphy 9-8, in a top quality sport. His semi last towards Selby, was his seventh semi-final of the season, nevertheless, it’s the primary he’s managed to transform right into a last.
Allen leads Maguire 6-3 on the face to face (excluding Allen’s Shootout victory over Maguire). Their final assembly was within the UK Championship semi-final in York, the place Maguire comprehensively despatched Allen 6-0.
It’s becoming that the 2 kind gamers go face to face, within the last for the £150K winners cheque. Whoever wins, each gamers can head to the Crucible for the World Championship with confidence following their performances this week.
If I needed to make a prediction, I might barely favour Mark Allen by a detailed 10-8 or 10-9. However both means will probably be good for the sport to see both of those raise the trophy.