Stephen Maguire - Ronnie O'Sullivan



O'Sullivan 11-5 Maguire

It's been a bad day for Stephen - he knows the match is over, and Ronnie hasn't even played well. I doubt this'll last long tomorrow. Join me then, at 9.45pm BST; in the other match, Yan has just won that aeons-long frame, so that one's now 7-7 with two still to play this evening.
World Championship
Top 10 shots of 2021/22: No. 1 – Trump's brilliant positional play seals key victory

O'Sullivan 11-4 Maguire (0-66)

Stephen tries to pinch a bit of pocket on the pink ... can he see the next red, also frame-ball? Yes he can and down it goes! Goodonim.

O'Sullivan 11-4 Maguire (0-36)

Wow! From near the yellow pocket, Stephen murders a red into right corner, adds a green, and there's some hilarity in the crowd as the other match enters the 39th minute of its 14th frame - Yan is still in front, and Mark J has nipped off for a lag. That's what happens in your 40s. Meantime, Stephen accumulates, seeking finishing a rotten day on a better vibe.

O'Sullivan 11-4 Maguire

A 73 and this is like, so, over. Stephen is doing his best, but his best isn't there for him.

O'Sullivan 10-4 Maguire (59-6)

Stephen worked so hard in the safety battle, but this is a game of fractions and he's not currently finding his common denominator. Sorry. On the other table, they went nearly 15 minutes without a ball being potted with reds serried on the top cushion, but Yan is now in control, ahead and at the table.

O'Sullivan 10-4 Maguire (11-6)

Oh, Stephen! He goes after a long one, gets really close ... and the white goes in instead of the red, of a different one close to the pocket. Ronnie then sends down a long starter, and there are loads of points making eyes at him.

O'Sullivan 10-4 Maguire (0-6)

Another tactical start to a frame, but Stephen can't induce Ronnie to err. So the reds are now spread, pink and black close together next to the former's spot, and Stephen absolutely dematerialises a red diagonally to left corner. But he can't do much more, so we're back playing safety.

O'Sullivan 10-4 Maguire

A 94 from Ronnie, featuring a shot that has Uncle Joe purring but that I don't see because my picture cuts out for a second, and he's nearly home. Stephen can't win from here, and both men know it.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Maguire (71-0)

Imagine being how good Ronnie is at snooker at anything, just for a night. He's not even playing well and he's in the process of going 10-4 up in a world quarter. It's a joke.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Maguire (7-0)

A tactical start to frame 14, the reds spread but not in pottable positions, pink and black tied up. But eventually Ronnie gets in, whams a long red to right corner, gets a kiss on the black, and Stephen knows he's in trouble.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Maguire

In our other match, Yan has made a ton and now trails just 7-6, 4-1 up on Mark J tonight.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Maguire

Ronnie's lead is now bigger than it was at the start of the session. He's got a decent chance of winning this with half a session to spare.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Maguire (62-22)

This is going to hurt Stephen badly. Ronnie gave him a life and immediately he gave it back - not something you can afford if you lost the first session 6-2.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Maguire (24-22)

Ronnie pots a red to left corner but off the wrong angle - he's displeased himself greatly there - but gets great length on his safety and Stephen can't respond, leaving a cut-back to left-middle. You'd back Ronnie to sort this from here while, on the other table, Yan stole the final frame before the interval and is doing nicely in the one after it, 7-5 down and 42-0 up.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Maguire (9-22)

I'll level with you: my eight-year-old disturbed me so I missed the start of Stephen's break, but he's in first only to rocket through the pack, send reds to hither and yon, then wind up on now and on black cush. He's struggling to find a shot so tries a black almost the entire length of the table to the green pocket and gets so close. Heartbreakingly, hilariously close. but not close enough, and now Ronnie has a delectable table to attack.

We go again...

O'Sullivan 8-4 Maguire

We said this at the mid-ses this morning, but Stephen could've won all four frames here. But he didn't, and Ronnie's four-frame lead remains intact.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Maguire (59-10)

Similar is going on on the other table as is here, Yan taking the first two frames only for Mark J to come back - that 6-2 lead again. The old man is at the table, leading 7-4 and looking good.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Maguire (59-10)

Ronnie ronnies, (apparently) effortlessly removing balls.His lead will be intact at the mid-sesh if he sees this out, and he'll only need five more to win. But what's this? Again, he misses a ball he shouldn't - a frame-ball pink to left corner - the frame is still alive, though the way the table is, it'll be something if Stephen can resolve it. He takes a red blue, plays safe having opened things a little.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Maguire (12-4)

What a shot! On the baulk cushion, Stephen pots a ball almost the full length of the table ... but after the green, he misses a much easier one, a cut to right corner, and he's not got away with it. This is what I meant when I said losing the first session 6-2 could be a problem even after the deficit was no longer intact - keeping Ronnie as quiet as you need to is close to impossible.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Maguire (4-0)

You what? Ronnie O'Sullivan miscues! Otherwise, it's a slow start to the frame.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Maguire

Stephen leaves a red but Ronnie misses that too, but it doesn't matter - another snooker attempt goes completely wrong, and yerman messes the balls.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Maguire (64-25)

Stephen clears two reds and blacks, then lays a snooker white behind pink, red down the table; Ronnie escapes.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Maguire (64-9)

Ronnie slithers around the black spot with his usual variety of deft touches and nudges taking him close to the frame, then he misses a simple black and Stephen returns to the table needing a snooker to tie.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Maguire (7-9)

It's Stephen at the table again as frame 11 starts, and he rattles in the yellow, splats the pack ... and ties up pink and black. Still, it's a statement of intent and the latter goes to one corner ... then he misses a red to left-middle that went down and popped back up again! That's the problem with losing the first session 6-2 - the margin for error is narrow. But Ronnie has a difficult red facing him ... yeah course. It goes down, and off he goes.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Maguire

A 62 followed by a 73 - you can't beat this format as an examination, you really can't. Though the feeling persists that law of averages says Ronnie will soon win a couple on the spin and the four-frame morning deficit can be crucial even after it's eradicated. On the other table, Yan has also closed to 6-4.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Maguire (1-66)

This is lovely from Stephen - he's bang into the match now.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Maguire (1-33)

Stephen looks much tonight than this morning - which isn't hard - but he's worked this opportunity really well, and in general has played positively so far this evening. He's nicely set to further reduce the deficit.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Maguire (1-1)

A careless break-off from Stephen gives Ronnie an easy starter, and in the process of sinking it he develops both pink and black. Only to miss the former to right-middle when it holds its line! Chance to Stephen! There's work to do, of course, but a few loose reds with wich to get going.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Maguire

Stephen misses the yellow, but a run of 63 is more than enough to close the gap to three - and similar is so on the other table, Yan making a definitive contribution after a slow start to draw nearer Mark J.

O'Sullivan 6-2 Maguire (20-25)

Or not. Before he can get to the high-value colours he has to platy safe, and a decent riposte from Stephen sets him up for a fine opener next visit. Can he make it count?

O'Sullivan 6-2 Maguire (20-1)

A slapdash attempt at a pot from Stephen leaves Ronnie a testing starter to left-middle - obviously he drains it beautifully, and with pink and black soon to be in play, this is a decent chance.

O'Sullivan 6-2 Maguire (10-1)

Ronnie runs out of position so plays safe off the yellow, white close to the baulk cushion ... and Stephen plays a tremendous red as a shot to nothing, winding up on nowt so playing safe behind the yellow and forcing Ronnie to rolls up.

O'Sullivan 6-2 Maguire (4-0)

Before the players came out, Stephen was kicking it with Mark J, nice and relaxed. But he'll know that he's got to win this first frame, and Ronnie dangles him a red off the break; he takes it on to right corner and jawses it but doesn't leave it. Ronnie then hammers one to left corner that gets a lot closer, Stephen misses to the same pocket, then Ronnie has a couple of swipes at a fly, eventually exterminating it on the baize to rapturous applause. He settles, cracks home a decent starter, and off he goes.

Boyz, baizing

It's been a strange day

The two matches we've focused on have been scrappy affairs, despite featuring four inveterate breakbuilders. I think we'll see a better Ronnie tonight, and we can't see a worse Stephen. And in the other match, Mark J continued as he started, in glorious touch. Yan is tough, but he'll have to go some to come back from where he finds himself.

Er hello again

We're coping with these rough 48 minutes without snooker? Glad to hear it.

That's us done for the afternoon

Join me again at 6.45pm BST for:
Yan Bingtao (Chn) 2-6 Mark Williams (Wal)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 2-6 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)

Trump 5-3 Bingham

There we go. That was much scrappier and longer session than most of us expected, but at the end of it, the man most of us expected to be in front is in front.

Trump 4-3 Bingham (73-35)

But not quite yet. The yellow goes down, but the aforementioned green, deliberately knocked safe by Judd earlier in the piece, means that there's only one snooker required ... and there it is! Stuart knocks it off the cushion and up the table, while the white lands it up in baulk and close to both cushions, behind the black! Judd, though, escapes beautifully off bottom and side cushion, and when Stuart then leaves it for him, he clips it home gently to right corner. That will be the frame.

Trump 4-3 Bingham (55-35)

We're still chasing the final two reds but left without much in the way of options, Stuart hits and hopes; he leaves nothing, so Judd tries a snooker behind the blue, knocking the green safe in the process. Unsure what to do, Stuart asks the audience, tries a fine cut to the green pocket, and is obstructed by the black. That was a good effort but the upshot is a ball left for his opponent though he gets a decent cue-ball. Judd sinks it, adds a pink and the last red, and this looks like the frame.

Trump 4-3 Bingham (44-31)

My SkyGo crashes, returning to show me that Judd's potted a starter; he follows it with a green and another red, but flicks the black which will make his next shot harder; he'll have been planning to cannon the two remaining reds ... and he still does, adding seven at the same time, but not hard enough to develop either.

Trump 4-3 Bingham (32-31)

In our other match, Higgins has snaffled the final frame of the afternoon for a 5-3 overnight lead; those two reconvene tomorrow afternoon. Meantime, Judd misses a blue to right corner - he never looked comfy on it - but a few shots later, he flukes a red to the same pocket, in off that same blue. Then it's in behind the brown and there are four reds left - two on the side and two in the middle of the table.

Trump 4-3 Bingham (15-31)

Ballrun is back! He caresses a lovely starter to the yellow pocket, and with so many loose reds he's no need to go into the bunch at this stage. But on 30, he runs out of position, considers chancing one, then plays down to baulk. Judd then leaves him a blue to right-centre and, well, he twitches. Ouch! Perhaps he was distracted, but I don't think so, and he looks extremely rueful as Judd sets about rubbing it in. This game!

Trump 4-3 Bingham

That's our boy! A 106 from Stuart, and now he'll feel that even if he loses the final frame of the afternoon, he's still bang in the match when it resumes tomorrow morning.

Trump 4-2 Bingham (0-97)

Sorry Stuey, I was getting previous. Not without reason - he wasn't playing well - but he's a fine player, so it's no surprise that he's closed the gap with a fine break.

Trump 4-2 Bingham (0-34)

He cannot. screwing back off the blue, he winds up ensconced in the pack and already we can see our way to another re-rack. But Stuart plays off the sole red in baulk, so we're back in play; next go, he sinks a red and plays in behind the yellow, then when Judd escapes he jabs home a red along black cush. He's got an angle to dig into the pack off the yellow too, and the way he steps around the table tells us that he's on one. He really needs to take this chance. Meantime, Lisowski - struggling a bit after what must've been a massive emotional dump last night - has closed the gap on Higgins to 4-3.

Trump 4-2 Bingham (0-16)

Stuart returns to his seat wearing a look of resignation because he's left a starter to left corner ... but Judd misses it! This allows Ballrun to clip a red to right-middle, a helpful flick off the knuckle leaves him on the black, and this is a chance. Can he take it?

Trump 4-2 Bingham

Stuart will know he's teetering here - he's not made a 30 since frame one, and if he finishes 6-2 behind, it's a very long way back.

Trump 3-2 Bingham (75-16)

Stuart hasn't potted a ball since before the interval, and the question now is whether he can do what champions do: boot you in the solar plexus when you're down. But Judd then misses a ball - the pink I think, I'm not sure as I was looking at my fingers - and Stuart returns to the table just to get some time at it and his arm going.

Trump 3-2 Bingham (66-0)

Suddenly, it looks like Judd has a chance to put some daylight between him and Stuart. He splits the pack, finishes on plenty, and there'll soon be two frames between these fine young men for the first time today.

Trump 3-2 Bingham (22-0)

Yeah, Stuart misses amid-distance red to right corner, Judd seizes upon the opportunity and splits the pack, only to screw back and kiss the pink, also on the move. So he has a look and cuts it to left-middle; he's looking strong, not quite like himself but closer to himself than Stuart can manage.

Trump 3-2 Bingham

A run of 82 and Judd is in front.

Trump 2-2 Bingham (79-0)

it's Judd in next but the majority of remaining reds are about the top cushion with the black close to it and protected by one of them. Judd, though, will only need two of them ... and he does so easily. Stuart isn't into this match really, and Judd will be thinking that he's a chance to press on in what's left of this session. On the other tale, it's now Higgins 4-2 Bingham.

Trump 2-2 Bingham (50-0)

In comms, Dominic notes that it's unusual to see Judd playing like, picking like Mark J, but the pack is now ruffled and he's not in great shape, forced to play safe with the rest. Like our earlier match, this is a lot scrappier and a lot more attritional than I imagine most of us expected.

Trump 2-2 Bingham (28-0)

On the other table, Jack has closed to within a frame of John at 3-2 while, back in our match, Judd is in quickly and looking good. He's still got a few loose reds, but if the split, when it comes, leaves him a ball or two, he'll soon be 3-2 in front you'd expect.

...we don't go again.

There's a bit of tapping about with reds near black cush, then the players quickly agree to a re-rack.

We go again...

Trump 2-2 Bingham

A frame of nearly half an hour following one that was 34 minutes long, and we're all-square at the interval.

Trump 2-1 Bingham (52-36)

On the other table, John leads Jack 3-1 at the interval; back on ours, Stuart sinks a tremendous double into the middle and must now find a route to the final two reds, both close to black cush. He gets high on the first and slots it, then develops the green while laying a snooker and returns to his seat a useful 36 having brought him back into the frame. I'm sure Judd will escape, but he can get the red safe? Er, no: he clatters it, it races to the jaws and looks like it's going in, then stays out and sits nicely for Stuart to despatch it. We've a new faovrite for the frame!

Trump 2-1 Bingham (52-9)

Stuart is riding is luck here. He survives leaving Judd in the middle of table after catching the knuckle of the right middle, when Judd can't cut a red to bottom left after switching to right-handed. Eventually though his luck runs out, as another poor safety leaves Judd a red to right middle. This chance looks like sticking, until Judd surprisingly misses a cut on red to bottom right with the rest. It's a handy lead though, because five of the remaining six reds are adjacent to cushions.

Trump 2-1 Bingham (30-9)

Here's a big chance for Stuart, as Judd catches a safety far too thick and serves up a simple red to the bottom left with the rest. Things soon go wrong though; in cutting the black into the right middle he catches the blue with the cue ball, and careers off into the green pocket. From the D Judd hasn't got a pot on and a safety exchange ensues, during which Stuart then sends the white into the yellow pocket. He grins, but I suspect he wouldn't have been doing so had he left a red on.

Trump 2-1 Bingham (19-0)

Stuart catches the blue when playing back to baulk at the start of the fourth frame. That leaves a relatively easy starter for Judd, who can only fashion seven from the chance when he opens the pack off the pink and lands on nothing. He's in for real a few shots later though, tagging in a red on the underside of the pack from distance and just about landing on the yellow. It's a chance, but on 12 he can't slide the black past two pesky reds near the bottom left and it's end of break.

Trump 2-1 Bingham

Judd soon lands a snooker of his own in return. Stuart fashions an escape, but he's left a mid-range red on to the bottom left. It's gun barrel straight, and nothing on the table is safe, which means it's curtains. A swift 21 from Judd takes him serenely over the line and he leads for the first time.

Trump 1-1 Bingham (51-18)

He doesn't, only able to manage a red and yellow more, but then floats a lovely red from centre to right corner and snuggles in between yellow and bottom cushion; Judd's escape takes around the angles and into the yellow pocket, then second go misses by fractions, and the third is a very nice feather that leaves everything safe.

Trump 1-1 Bingham (51-6)

With six reds remaining, there's plenty of scope for Stuart to steal, and after eight and half minutes with nothing potted, he rolls from the baulk cushion to right-middle, dead weight, to give himself a shy. The way the balls are, I don't think he can clear up, but he can get himself right back into this if he works things well.

Trump 1-1 Bingham (51-1)

Left a long one to left corner, Judd strokes it home - I wonder if last night's joy, winning a tight one himself, seeing his mucker Jack do likewise, and being part of a glorious night has revitalised him. But he then runs out of position, leaves a ball over the pocket next go, and the question is whether Stuart can sneak through to it between pink and red. He can! Down it goes, the frame still alive, but he's not on anything, so will surely bring the green back into play. Meanwhile, John has levelled this afternoon's other quarter at 1-1.

Trump 1-1 Bingham (45-0)

Judd runs out of position when the split doesn't work out and Stuart plays what looks a good safety, white well up in baulk ... only for Judd to glide one from middle to left corner before respecting his lead and pushing the green safe.

Trump 1-1 Bingham (9-0)

Again, a red is left dangling from the break, but this time Stuart not only misses but leaves him in. If Judd could rustle up a one-visiter here, that would really lay the smack down.

Trump 1-1 Bingham

A clearance of 105, and Judd is in the match!

Trump 0-1 Bingham (36-28)

But it's Judd in next and this is a really good chance to test that equilibriousness. In practice, he clears up from here, and it's a good level of challenging to get going in a match: not a cinch, but an opportunity he should take.

Trump 0-1 Bingham (0-28)

Stuart pots a red too thickly, which means he can only add one more blue before playing safe. He has that equilibrium, though, of knowing things will go wrong and letting them go, so it's a shake of the head and onto the next one.

Trump 0-1 Bingham (0-15)

Stuart isn't necessarily someone you'd think would be good at the Cruce - he's a potter, and streaks tend not to do it here. But he's got temperament, only lost 17-15 to Mark Selby in last year's semi, and knows he's good enough to do it. He's in again too, Judd taking on a red, the only one he could leave if he missed, missing and leaving it. Stuart then gets low on a red to ruffle the pack from below, and is picking away nicely.

Trump 0-1 Bingham

Both men can and will play better than this, but ht e meantime it's Stuart in front, while on t'other table, Jack leads John 1-0.

Trump 0-0 Bingham (38-67)

A mistake from Stuart sticks Judd in and there are plenty of points out there for him, though he'll need the three difficult reds near the side; he can't see them off, so we're now chasing with one now in the middle of black cush, one on the side and one in open play. Both men miss their goes at it before Stuart sees it away. That'll be the frame.

Trump 0-0 Bingham (4-50)

Stuart has made it clear that he's not remotely afraid of Judd, comparing him unfavourably to Ronnie, John ands Mark J, of whom he is also not afraid. But on 50, he runs out of position, the white ending up close to the side, so he plays safe down the table and retires with a pleasant advantage. I quite fancy him for this one, you know.

Trump 0-0 Bingham (4-0)

Judd is obviously favourite for this and with good reason, but he's not playing that well and Stuart, who's won as many of these as he has, is in decent nick. This is no gimme. But it's Judd in first, then he refuses a red near the black to send one long to the green pocket ... which he jawses. So Sa few shots later, Stuart clips to right-middle and he's away.

We'll be focusing on Trump v Bingham

With updates from Higgins v Lisowski. On we go!

The baize is boyzed

Hello again - our menu for this afternoon is as follows

  • Stuart Bingham v Judd Trump
  • Jack Lisowski v John Higgins

That's our morning done

Join me again at 2.15 for the afternoon!
Here is some reading for the meantime from this morning's drama...

O'Sullivan 6-2 Maguire

This is still a contest, but only just. If Stephen can't find something better this evening, he's done, but he's got a glimmer.

O'Sullivan 6-1 Maguire (50-70)

Stephen finds himself straight on the black so can only attempt a Higgins double on the final red; he misses, but sends it down the table and safe. Ronnie's riposte then hands him another double ... and it's there! ... but so is the white! My word, this has been a Wayne Bridge v Croatia shocker, but Ronnie then misses the yellow to the middle and Neal notes that the centre bags are the narrowest he can remember. Able to see more of it, Stephen deposits the ball into it, but he's not on the green ... so from close to it, forces it into the opposite side! A banging broon follows, then the blue, and well done Stephen Maguire!

O'Sullivan 6-1 Maguire (46-41)

Mark J has indeed taken the session 6-2, while back with out match, Ronnie misses a red and Stephen guides an excellent and careful starter to left-middle. He must make this count - 6-2 and the first two tonight and in he's in the match, 7-1 and he's absolutely diddled. With four reds left, two are close together under the pink, one is near the side, and the other disappears to the middle. He'll need them all.

O'Sullivan 6-1 Maguire (24-0)

If Stephen can find a way to win this one then he - and we - can at least pretend this is a contest. But instead Ronnie nails a long red to left corner off the break, and it's like someone's turned him on. There's no better front-runner in the game, and with the black available to both reds, 7-1 looks likely. Meantime, Mark J has won three straight, to leave Yan needing the last of the session to make it close, but he's currently 42 behind with the legend at the table.

O'Sullivan 6-1 Maguire

1,160. That is how many tons Ronald Alonso O'Sullivan has now made in professional competition. What a ludicrous individual; what an unparalleled privilege it is to watch him, and this match is as good as over.

O'Sullivan 5-1 Maguire (88-20)

Ronnie is getting warm - he's been more like his usual self through this run, and a tremendous yellow sets him on the penultimate red, right up the table, with a century on the agenda.

O'Sullivan 5-1 Maguire (47-20)

Shonuff, it's Ronnie who gets in next, and he 's looking good for 6-1.

O'Sullivan 5-1 Maguire (0-20)

A dreadful break-off from Ronnie sends a red down the table; Stephen doubles it, then tucks in behind the yellow and Ronnie foul-misses ... then again and again, on those occasions not even getting by the baulk colours as he comes off bottom and side cushions, the first half of his four-cushion escape. On his fourth go, he gets close to where he'd like to be, only to miss red and hit black, ceding a free ball; Stephen should put him back but instead takes on a tight cut to left-middle and misses. Goodness me, he's having a stinker.

O'Sullivan 5-1 Maguire

I'm not quite sure what the highest break of the session is but I don't think it's even 40. but Ronnie's D-game is significantly better than Stephen's Z-game, which is why he's way out in front. Meantime, Mark J is making it 4-2 against Yan.

O'Sullivan 4-1 Maguire (40-2)

Another poor shot from Stephen, this time sending balls careering about the table, hands Ronnie the keys to it. This is burgeoning into one of the great horror sessions.

O'Sullivan 4-1 Maguire (27-2)

Ronnie tries to splat the pack but plays the shot poorly, so has to return to baulk; Stephen opens them, trying an attacking safety but leaving one instead; he'll be relieved Ronnie can't do better than add a red. Stephen then clumps home a fine red ... only to miscue on the pink, lifting the white over it and off the table! It never rains, but at least his barnet is on point. Meantime, it's Williams 3-2 Bingtao on the other table.

O'Sullivan 4-1 Maguire (6-1)

Stephen finds a terrific starter, taken from middle to right corner, then misses a simple broon, and in comms, Neal is fearing for the table, cruising for a bruising as frustration rises. Ronnie is at the table potting balls, and there's a chance this match will be effectively done by the end of the session.

O'Sullivan 4-1 Maguire

A 33 is enough for the frame, and though Ronnie won't be happy with how he's playing - I'm ready for complaints about his cue action - he's in control. Stephen needs at least two of the next three.

O'Sullivan 3-1 Maguire (55-28)

Unlike Stephen, Ronnie won't need the yellow, and Stephen is in all sorts.

O'Sullivan 3-1 Maguire (36-28)

Another error from Stephen, again Ronnie can't capitalise, which presents an opportunity. Can Stephen take it? There's a red close to the side cushion and the yellow is also awkward, so this isn't a simple clear-up; for that reason, he tries to develop the former early doors, does so, and winds up on nowt. So he takes on an acute cut to left-middle, misses, and that will surely cost him another frame.

O'Sullivan 3-1 Maguire (35-6)

Ronnie runs into the pack and out of position, but he's soon back at the table ... and back in his seat. Stephen then rockets in a tremendous starter - where's that been all morning - but it only gets him one before Ronnie extends his lead further but not conclusively in what's turning into yet another scrappy one.

O'Sullivan 3-1 Maguire (22-1)

Ronnie breaks off left-handed and dangles a tempter, which Stephen despatches to left corner ... only to miss a pink to right-middle. Oh, Stephen. But Ronnie can't capitalise, and we're back playing safety, Stephen then catching a starter to middle too thick and handing it to Ronnie instead. The punishment is just six points, but when Stephn misses again, a red to right corner, he's not so lucky. This match is running away from him, and it's only just started while, conversely, it's Williams 2-2 Bingtao at the interval on the other table.

We go again

O'Sullivan 3-1 Maguire

Stephen could be 4-0 up, instead he's 3-1 down - and at some point during this match, Ronnie will start playing. He's in big trouble; join me after the mid-sesh to find out how big.

O'Sullivan 2-1 Maguire (64-55)

Ronnie gets the wrong side of the blue ... and spanks it home anyway, then clatters home the pink too!

O'Sullivan 2-1 Maguire (16-55)

Yan has pulled a frame back to trail Mark J 2-1, while Stephen loses the white a little so has to take on a red with the rest ... and misses it to left corner! Having done all the hard work opening up the table, he's now in serious danger of losing the frame, which would sting and then some. There are no difficult balls, so he's relying on Ronnie making an error; good luck with that, old mate.

O'Sullivan 2-1 Maguire (0-30)

It's Stephen in at the start of frame four and he really needs to make this count.

O'Sullivan 2-1 Maguire

Yup, there it is. Stephen will be extremely naused he's trailing here, but encouraged by how Ronnie is playing.

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (59-45)

Eeesh, looking for a thin contact on the final red, marooned on the baulk cushion, Ronnie cedes a free ball; can Stephen work his way down to it? He's got a bit of angle but needs to play it at pace and can't force it down; surely this will now, at last, be the frame?

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (59-17)

Ronnie goes in-off, there's now a red up in baulk, and now Stephen has a proper chance to twok.

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (59-17)

Ronnie should've closed this out 10 minutes ago but instead Stephen is at the table, trying to steal. The four remaining reds are in nasty positions, three near the top cushion and one bothered by the black; it goes down, though, and here comes the key shot: can Stephen cannon the cluster off the blue? Well, yes and no: he hits the black first, gets nowhere, and has to play safe. He now needs every ball to seize the frame while, on the other table, Mark J now leads Yan 2-0,

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (55-7)

Neither of these are at it yet, Stephen missing a red then Ronnie missing a black, and frame that looked a lock is now scrappy.

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (54-3)

But then Ronnie makes one, missing a red to right corner with the rest; can Stephen steal?

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (54-0)

Yup, Ronnie swiftly accumulates like he's been doing it all his life, which he has. Stephen can't afford to make the kind of errors he's perpetrated in the last two frames if he's to even make this close.

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire (7-0)

Stephen tries for a long red to left corner, only to discover there's another blocking it off. That is going to cost him.

O'Sullivan 1-1 Maguire

Stephen has missed a trick here - never give a genius an even break, as the age-old saying goes.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Maguire (45-16)

"He'll be enraged," says Neal, when Stephen misses a simple red to right corner. Ronnie will surely polish off from here, while on the other table, Mark J has taken the first frame to lead Yan 1-0.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Maguire (37-9)

Ronnie returns but when he runs out of position a poor safety leaves Stephen a red to left corner. He rams it home, liberates the black, and this is a great chance for 2-0. Already, Ronnie will be rueing that black missed off its spot.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Maguire (24-0)

Now it's Stephen who misses a straightforward pot, a red to right corner, then Ronnie gets back in before leaving the arena to remove some fibres from his tip.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Maguire (17-0)

Ronnie flows a gorgeous opening red to left corner and follows it with a black. He looks in terrific touch, and I feel stupid for saying this, but already this looks like a frame-winning opportunity ... then "the greatest player around the black spot we've ever seen misses a black off its spot for no apparent reason" says Neal in comms. "I didn't see that coming and neither did he." But he gets lucky, leaving nowt.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Maguire

Ronnie pots a red into the yellow pocket and gets great action on the white, but when he can't develop anything, concedes.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Maguire (7-61)

Stephen runs out of position with one snooker required and the way the table is, very few balls in the central areas, it'll be hard to get

O'Sullivan 0-0 Maguire (7-46)

Stephen leaves Ronnie a starter then he rides a colossal kick on the brown ... but only for one more red; he's forced to play safe off the blue. This is now a really scrappy one, green, brown and blue close to the green pocket and the remaining reds close to the cushion and close to right corner. but if anyone can resolve the mess it's Ronnie, and when Stephen leaves him a plant he slides it home, sinks the green ... and brings the white back into left-middle! Left a starter, Stephen sees it away, develops two more reds, and suddenly he's nearly home.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Maguire (0-41)

The table is lively, turning a stun into a screw which takes the white towards the side cushion; Stephen plays safe with a handy lead in his favour.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Maguire (0-25)

Who had these as their last eight then? Ronnie, it must be said, is looking very strong and so is Mark J - but the best player in the first week is rarely the best player at the end of the second week, and Judd has plenty of room for improvement while Yan is so difficult to beat and Jack is in the form of his life. Anyway, it's Stephen in first and he's looking extremely calm at the table, hair swept back and eveything.

This morning

We'll be majoring on the most naturally talented player ever to pick up a cut (TMNTPETPUAC) - of course. He meets Stephen Maguire - the qualifier Stephen Maguire! - and what a sign of strength in depth that is - in a match that looks extremely tasty. As does Yan Bingtao v Mark Williams. Yan is an awesome competitor, while Mark is the same - and in what might just be the form of his life. Here we go!

Morning all

And welcome to the last eight of the 2022 snooker World Championships!


Tuesday, 26 April
  • Stephen Maguire v Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • Yan Bingtao v Mark WIlliams
  • Stuart Bingham v Judd Trump
  • Jack Lisowski v John Higgins
  • Stephen Maguire v Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • Yan Bingtao v Mark WIlliams

How to watch the event

The World Snooker Championship 2022 will be available on Eurosport and discovery+, with all the latest news, reaction and highlights on


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