Maguire books quarters spot

Stephen Maguire held off Joe Perry to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship this morning.

Stephen Maguire held off Joe Perry to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship this morning.

The Glasgow potter won 13-7 against his English opponent to set up a probable match with Stephen Hendry in the last eight.

Hendry carries a 12-4 lead into the afternoon closing session of his second-round tussle with defending champion John Higgins.

Maguire had been 11-5 overnight, but dropped the opening two frames when they resumed, giving Perry some hope that he would be able to force a close finish.

That was soon extinguished though, and 31-year-old Maguire reaches the last-eight stage for the fourth time in his career.

Maguire said: “I think I finished the match yesterday really by winning the second session 7-1.

“Even if it had gone 12-8, I’d have had to have fallen over to lose five frames on the spin.

“I played okay in the first two sessions. I think Joe was in in every single frame, so I wouldn’t say I played well. I must have stolen about six or seven frames off him, just like I did in the first round against Luca Brecel.

“That’s good because it hurts the opponent, but I’m only getting in really because they’re missing on 40 or 50, which isn’t good enough. If I come up against players who are knocking in 70s or 80s, I’m not going to get any chances to clear up.

“I have to improve.”

Perry, who dropped just one frame to former champion Graeme Dott in round one, could not keep pace with Maguire.

But the 2008 semi-finalist was content with his performance, the 36-year-old saying: “I enjoyed the match. I think I gave a good account of myself against a very good Stephen Maguire.

“I think it boiled down to five or six easy balls that I missed, when I should have won frames. They look really bad when someone keeps capitalising. Every time I seemed to miss an easy ball he won the frame.

“I thought he was fantastic over the first two sessions.

“At 11-7 he looked vulnerable for the first time, because he probably hadn’t got himself psyched up, the match was virtually over.”

Asked if Maguire can win his first world title this year, Perry said: “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s sitting here on the Monday of the final celebrating victory.”

On the other table this morning, Cao Yupeng won three of the four frames played before the mid-session interval as he bought back from 6-2 to trail 7-5 against Ryan Day.

The highlight for Chinese 21-year-old Cao was a break of 125 in the second frame of the morning.

Welshman Day halted his charge with a run of 112.

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