Day two at The dafabet Masters and although it didn't quite produce the drama of yesterday it was still a fascinating day in tis own right.
First up we had Judd Trump taking on Stephen Maguire.After a difficult couple of seasons Trump has of late been showing signs of a return to the form that catapulted him into the limelight in 2011 and it was he who got off to the perfect start in this one taking the opening two frames to lead 2-0
That really should have become 3-0,but in a frame that ultimately proved to be turning point in the match Maguire got the snooker he required on the blue to nick it and make it 2-1. He,then made the most of this reprieve to take the next with a 96 to go to the interval level at 2-2.
When they resumed it was the Scot who once again found his touch to take the next two to go 4-2.Trump must have been wondering how it had come to this,but to his credit he produced runs of 109 & 71 make it 4-4.
It was now basically down to a best of three and in a tense ninth both players missed glorious chances to edge ahead before Maguire got the better of the tactical battle to lead again 5-4.Into the next and when Trump missed a black off the spot and,in the process split the reds wide open,Maguire pounced with a 64 break to clinch a 6-4 win.
A rare Masters victory then for Maguie who has a poor record in this tournament and a real missed opportunity for Trump who will feel this is one that got away.
With the exit of Selby yesterday & Trump this afternoon,attention tonight focused on Neil Robertson to see if he could stake a claim as a title contender here this week.
Here he faced Robert Milkins and although the Aussie did eventually get over the line,he will need to improve vastly if he is to add another Master crown to his cv.
This was a match that took its time to get going as a scrappy opening four frames were shared 2-2.
Things did pick up a bit after the interval as a 69 from Milkins to go 3-2 was quickly answered by a 77 from Robertson to level it again at 3-3.
The seventh frame was another long scrappy affair,but when Milkins took it with a great clearance from the brown,you wondered what it meant for the match.
Well it turned out that it was the kick the Robertson needed as he produced his best form of the match,just when it was needed most.knocking in breaks of 95,117 & 76 to run out a 6-4 winner.
Robertson will no doubt be happy with how he finished off this one and although he can play better that late rally has given him the opportunity to improve in the next round.