Masters snooker report and result: Stephen Maguire beats Neil Robertson 6-5; David Gilbert through

Two more matches made for two more shocks in the Dafabet Masters, as Stephen Maguire rallied from 5-1 down to win 6-5 and David Gilbert impressed.

Maguire stuns Robertson

Day two of the Masters saw former champion Neil Robertson fail to convert a 4-0 lead as Stephen Maguire completed a remarkable comeback at Alexandra Palace, winning 6-5.

Maguire trailed 4-0 and 5-1 before rattling off five frames in succession, holding his nerve superbly in the last of them to make it three upsets from as many matches in the tournament.

Robertson will not know quite what happened, having missed a straightforward black in the decider before Maguire thumped home a wonderful green, having seemingly run out of position.

The Scot followed it with a brave red along the cushion and from there went on to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat.

"Is that all?" was Maguire's reply when told he was 25/1 at the mid-session interval. "I wasn't in the match at all. I thought Neil missed the boat a couple of times - he should've put me away.

"I've no words, I didn't expect to win at 4-0 I have to admit."

Robertson looked in ominous touch early on as he raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to breaks of 76 and 136 and when he got better of a nervy frame three after Maguire had missed a couple of bites at frame ball, the writing appeared to be on the wall.

More pinpoint positional play allowed Robertson to compile another healthy contribution in frame four, a run of 71 this time enough to ensure the first mini-session was one-way traffic and that Maguire would have it all to do upon the resumption.

The Scot did respond when play resumed, however, grinding away to claim a fifth frame that swung one way and then the other, but when Robertson hit straight back by winning frame six, he had put himself on the cusp of victory.

There was still time for plenty more drama, however, Maguire's attempt to power a red into the bottom pocket early in frame seven seeing the red rattle in the jaws of the pocket before bouncing up the table and then spinning back into the same pocket. All the while the cue ball had made its way up along the side cushion before dropping into the green pocket, drawing gasps from the crowd and expressions of disbelief from both players.

It certainly didn't do Maguire any harm and he went on to put together a clinical break of 105 that cut his deficit to three and finally saw him find the form that he has been able to produce so often at this event in years gone by.

If Maguire now had a spring in his step, Robertson's focus appeared to be wavering just a little and despite closing in on the winning line with a run of 56 in frame eight, he was guilty of missing a couple of gilt-edged chances before Maguire fought and scrapped his way to another frame.

Following a missed red from distance from Maguire, Robertson finally looked set to close out the match but when a split into the reds saw the white cruelly stick to the pack, his opponent stepped in once more with a ruthless run of 65 to close the gap to one.

With his tail now up, Maguire continued on his merry way as Robertson watched on from his chair and moments later the the scores were level, the Scot firing off a further break of 81 in frame 10 to set up a grandstand finish that had appeared so unlikely an hour or so earlier.

The first chance fell to Robertson, with the red spread across the table, but that fact only made his miss on the black all the more costly. Maguire still had work to do, until a long pot on the green ultimately determined the outcome of a match which somehow ended in Robertson falling at the first hurdle.

Maguire couldn't resist letting out an almighty fist pump after a 62 break left him 29 ahead with just 18 remaining, and there would be no Houdini act here as Robertson collapsed to a shocking defeat.

"He deserved to win and I have no complaints. It's just unfortunate to go out of the Masters when I had it in my hands," said Robertson.

"I'd made up my mind," added Maguire when asked to reflect on the final frame. "I was either going to pot them all or miss and get beat, I wasn't playing safe."

Ever one of the sport's great enigmas, he progresses to a potential clash with close friend Mark Allen in the second round, or Masters debutant David Gilbert. How he fares will surely depend which version turns up, which is anyone's guess.

Gilbert makes winning debut

Mark Allen suffered a second successive first-round defeat at Alexandra Palace as he found himself on the wrong end of a 6-1 hiding from debutant David Gilbert.

Allen was beaten by a fine Luca Brecel display 12 months ago and again ran into an opponent at the top of his game, Gilbert racing into a 4-0 lead before doing enough after the interval to progress.

It's 12 years since last a debutant won The Masters, but with Robertson, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui already out, Gilbert has every reason to fancy his chances of a long-awaited breakthrough.

His long-awaited debut in one of snooker's most prestigious events could hardly have got off to a better start, as he needed just two visits to wrap up the opening frame which he finished with a 77 break.

In truth it ought to have been a century, only for the final red to rattle in the jaws, but he made up for that with a fluent 121 clearance in the second frame and Allen was 2-0 down without having potted a ball.

Frame three saw that corrected, the Northern Irishman racing into a 59-12 lead, only for Gilbert to rally with a 58 clearance to pinch the frame and move further clear.

Gilbert completed a pre-interval whitewash when Allen missed a straightforward black in the fourth frame, and it was clear by now another big name was in deep trouble.

Allen kept his fading hopes alive by getting on the board when the players returned to the table, but a 95 break moved Gilbert within one and he dominated the next frame to complete a commanding win.

"It's probably the best I've ever played," said Gilbert, who missed just eight pots in the entire match. "The arm felt fantastic - I wish it felt like that every day. It's a dream start.

"I've waited a long time to be here. There's no point worrying about it, you know what I mean?"


Masters draw & tournament bracket

ROUND ONE

Scroll down for daily schedule and results

  • Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy
  • Ding Junhui 3-6 Joe Perry
  • Mark Selby 4-6 Ali Carter
  • John Higgins v Barry Hawkins
  • Neil Robertson 5-6 Stephen Maguire
  • Mark Allen 1-6 David Gilbert
  • Kyren Wilson v Jack Lisowski
  • Mark Williams v Stuart Bingham

Tournament schedule and round-by-round results

  • All matches up to and including semi-finals best of 11; final best of 19

Round one

Sunday 12 January
Afternoon Session (1300 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Ding Junhui 3-6 Joe Perry

Evening Session (1900 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Mark Selby 4-6 Ali Carter

Monday 13 January
Afternoon Session (1300 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Neil Robertson 5-6 Stephen Maguire

Evening Session (1900 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Mark Allen 1-6 David Gilbert

Tuesday 14 January
Afternoon Session (1300 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy

Evening Session (1900 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • John Higgins v Barry Hawkins

Wednesday 15 January
Afternoon Session (1300 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Kyren Wilson v Jack Lisowski

Evening Session (1900 - BBC/Eurosport)

  • Mark Williams v Stuart Bingham

Related links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team pick out their best bets for Saturday's sport, including racing at Lingfield and Taunton, Premier League football, and golf in Abu Dhabi.

Simon Holt picks out his weekend fancies2

Simon Holt: Trust Emotion

In-form tipster Simon Holt fancies Soul Emotion to strike for Nicky Henderson at Ascot and has four selections across three meetings.

Oli Bell previews the action3

Oli Bell: Saturday best bets

Four best bets for our pundit on Saturday including Definitly Red in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock.

Read the Soccer Saturday predictions for Liverpool v Man Utd4

Pundit Predictions: Liverpool v Man Utd

Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier have their say on the big Liverpool v Man Utd clash on Sunday.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview
5

Saturday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Un De Sceaux her best bet for Saturday and has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team pick out their best bets for Saturday's sport, including racing at Lingfield and Taunton, Premier League football, and golf in Abu Dhabi.

Simon Holt picks out his weekend fancies2

Simon Holt: Trust Emotion

In-form tipster Simon Holt fancies Soul Emotion to strike for Nicky Henderson at Ascot and has four selections across three meetings.

Oli Bell previews the action3

Oli Bell: Saturday best bets

Four best bets for our pundit on Saturday including Definitly Red in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock.

Read the Soccer Saturday predictions for Liverpool v Man Utd4

Pundit Predictions: Liverpool v Man Utd

Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier have their say on the big Liverpool v Man Utd clash on Sunday.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview
5

Saturday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Un De Sceaux her best bet for Saturday and has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview

Saturday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Un De Sceaux her best bet for Saturday and has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Mr the man

Matt Brocklebank had a 6/1 winning nap on Friday and David Ord takes over for Saturday's best bet. His selection runs at Taunton.

Richard Mann has three selections on Saturday

Go fishing for Trout at Lingfield

Richard Mann previews Saturday's all-weather action from Lingfield and The New One Unibet Hurdle at Haydock.

Next Race Off

01:21 Delta Downs
2
(2)
Skip's Song
J: Paulina Ramirez
3
(3)
Melody Rose
J: Timothy Thornton
5
(5)
Paddy O
J: C J McMahon

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package and free tips

Saturday's Premier League tips

Betting previews, Super 6 predictions & best bets for Saturday's action including Spurs, Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

We are looking at four teams from the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League One for our latest Sporting Life Accumulator.

Read Dale Tempest's latest football betting column for analysis, trends and top tips

Dale Tempest: On the draws

Dale Tempest sees a lot of stalemates in the Premier League this weekend, and has a way you can take advantage in his weekly betting column.