Stephen Maguire says Shaun Murphy made mistake by winding him up in Crucible clash

Stephen Maguire won an emotional encounter with Shaun Murphy (Picture: Getty Images)

Stephen Maguire says Shaun Murphy made a mistake by firing him up with fist pumps during their World Snooker Championship second round clash.

Maguire won the match 13-9 to reach the quarter-finals and while it wasn’t the highest quality affair it was a memorable contest for the intensity in which it was played.

After winning a frame early in the second session on the final black, Murphy gave the crowd a fist pump, something he does regularly, but Maguire says it was an error on his part.

‘It did [fire me up],’ said Maguire. ‘To be honest with you he made a mistake there because he knows me well enough that I get on myself.

‘The frame he won, the first frame, he should never have won it. I was sitting there hating myself and calling myself every name under the sun. Then the fist pump came out and I forgot about all that. I just thought, “you’re having it.” All my attention went on him then. He made a mistake then.’

The second session ended in dramatic fashion as Maguire won the last frame on the pink after a tense battle on the colours and the Scot punched the table and gave some fist pumps of his own.

The 43-year-old admits the emotion had been building and he was a little embarrassed by it, despite the crowd loving it.

Maguire let loose after winning the 16th frame (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I think it was building up the whole session. He was giving it to me and was giving it to the crowd,’ said Maguire. ‘I was trying not to show anything out there. It was building up and building up. I’d sort of resigned to losing that frame, so when the chance came I made a nice wee four-ball clearance and something happened. I’m kind of embarrassed about it, but it is what it is.

‘Usually I wait five minutes, get to the dressing room and let it out. But it’s a cauldron out there, you end up getting involved with the crowd and it all came out.

‘Apart from that when I lost the plot I thought I held it in pretty well. I was trying not to pull faces, let him pull the faces, he’s good at that. I just sat, watched the table, but it was building and building. I’m trying to hold it in a little bit.

‘I know it’s good for the crowd, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. I wasn’t too happy with myself, but all my mates loved it.’

Murphy was all for Maguire’s show of emotion, happy to see it from his opponent as much as he loves doing so himself.

‘I think it’s what we need more of in snooker,’ said the Magician. ‘I think we need more of this show of emotion and people celebrating.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 - Day Nine

Murphy wished Maguire well after the match (Picture: Getty Images)

‘It’s okay to celebrate your successes and good shots and winning frames. It was a vital moment, if I’d won that frame I’d have been punching the table as well.

‘We need more of it in snooker, we need to show the public how much it means because a lot of them look like robots. I enjoyed it. It adds a bit of spice to the match. He’s fully entitled to celebrate his shots.’

The old rivals shook hands at the end and Maguire revealed a classy message from the beaten man.

‘He just said good luck and I hope you do well in the tournament,’ said Maguire. ‘On the table he’s a great player. Off the table we don’t see eye-to-eye but we’re alright with each other.’

Maguire now has a clash with Dave Gilbert in the quarter-finals in Sheffield.


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Stephen Maguire downs Shaun Murphy in high-intensity Crucible showdown


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