Jamie Cope will lock horns with Neil Robertson in this year’s Royal London Watches Grand Prix final.
Having seen Australian ace Robertson defeat Scot Alan McManus 6-2 in the afternoon’s semi-final, it was Stoke qualifier Cope who sparkled in the second semi in Scotland.
Despite twice going behind, the Longton potter ran out a comfortable 6-3 winner over Mark King at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
And afterwards the 21-year-old rising star revealed his desire to win this year’s title and pocket the £60,000 (€90,000) prize-winners cheque. The runner-up gets £30,000 (€45,000).
“It’s the first time that I’ve played really well, but I still feel there’s lots more to come,” said Cope, who earlier this week pocketed a maximum 147 clearance which will earn him £24,000 (€36,000) in additional prize money unless it is bettered.
He added: “I’m just hoping I can play well in the final. It’s going to be big occasion for me.
“I think Mark tried to slow me down a bit at the start, but once I got going I was all right from there.
“I’ve really settled amongst the balls every frame. I had a few nerves, but I waited for a chance to score and once I got in I did score.”
King started the better and his break of 70 secured the first frame.
Cope squared matters by pinching a scrappy second frame, before Romford left-hander King restored his one-frame cushion with another 70 run.
But a composed 96 break under pressure made sure Cope levelled matters in time for the mid-session interval.
And following the resumption Cope got even better as he reeled off three frames on the spin to put himself within touching distance of a place in his first professional final.
Breaks of 58, a rapid 74 and then a 92 clearance established a healthy 5-2 lead.
King hit back with breaks of 57 and 53, but it only delayed the inevitable.
Cope’s form this week and during qualifying – just to make sure of a place in the tournament proper – has been remarkable.
He played seven qualifying matches at Pontin’s in Prestatyn, winning six of them to reach the round-robin best-of-five group stages in Aberdeen.
Three victories from five group games was enough for a place in the last 16 - and from there the 2004/05 Pontin’s Holidays Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner has gone from strength to strength.
In the last 16 he whitewashed Gloucester’s Robert Milkins 5-0 in their best-of-nine clash, before following that victory with a 5-4 win over Cambridgeshire’s Joe Perry in the quarter-finals.
Added to that his excellent win over King, Cope has had to play a staggering 15 matches to earn his place in this year’s final.