He may have been saddled with a ridiculous nickname (what on earth is the 'Merlin of Milton' supposed to mean?) but on the table Stephen Maguire has proven this week that he is pure class.

His confidence was knocked by failing to put away Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round of the 2005 World Championship but the Glaswegian does not appear to have suffered a negative reaction to losing 17-15 from 14-10 up in the Crucible semi-finals last season.

By beating Fergal O'Brien 9-5 in the Northern Ireland Trophy final in Belfast tonight, he becomes only the 15th player to have won three or more ranking titles.

Up to third in the provisional rankings, he can relax a little now that his three-year wait for a title has ended and will surely challenge in the rest of this season's events.

Snooker is becoming increasingly difficult to predict but Maguire, like Dominic Dale in Shanghai and Marco Fu at the Grand Prix, had to play some top class stuff to win the title, capping a terrific and well supported week in Belfast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maguire has been more consistent over the last 12 months but he gives the impression of someone who doesn't really care and isn't prepared to work hard enough to be the best.
He has the talent to win more titles but his questionable work ethic will prevent him from reaching his full potential.