STEPHEN MAGUIRE won all eight matches he played in group 4 of the Championship League to advance to the winners’ group at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex.

Maguire topped the round robin section, winning all six matches, before beating Ryan Day 3-2 in the semi-finals. The Scot then overwhelmed world no.1 Neil Robertson 3-0 to win the final in only 24 minutes.

Robertson potted only one ball in the final, in the opening frame. In the second, he broke off and Maguire knocked in a red and made a break of 131.

In the third, from Maguire’s break-off Robertson attempted a long red, got a kick and Maguire made 96 to complete the rout.

“I’m pleased to win today,” Maguire told Matchroom Sport. “It’s a tough group and I beat six good players and two of them again in the play-offs.

“Last year I hit the post a few times, getting to group play-offs but losing in the semis and finals. This year it is nice to get through to winners’ group at the first attempt.

Robertson made seven centuries during the group, taking his total for the season to 77.

Group 5 of the Championship League, which will include John Higgins, Marco Fu and Dominic Dale, will be played on February 10 and 11.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.