Snooker: Maguire brushes aside remains of Day

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The Independent Online

Stephen Maguire saw off Ryan Day 6-1 to reach the Masters semi-finals yesterday despite being nowhere near top form. He will take on Mark Selby in the last four after Selby held off a fightback from Mark Allen to progress with a 6-5 win last night.

Maguire's match was scrappy throughout, with Day frequently wasting chances to wrap up frames and Maguire taking advantage. Though the scoreline appeared one-sided, the Welshman was within one pot of reaching the mid-session interval on level terms.

Trailing 2-1, he moved into a 26-point lead in frame four with just the colours remaining – only to jaw the frame-ball yellow and watch his opponent clear the colours.

The same pattern repeated itself after the break, as Day ground to a halt on a break of 44 in the sixth frame and a break of 62 to the pink allowed Maguire to move within one frame of victory. A run of 61 sealed a similar seventh frame, and victory, for Maguire, but the Scot, who also reached the semi-finals in 2007, said: "The first session was getting to the point of being embarrassing – maybe if one guy knocked in a hundred it might have spurred the other one on, but it was awful.It shouldn't be like that, [if one player misses] the other guy should just pounce.I've won two matches without playing well."

Selby, World Championship runner-up in 2007, raced into a 3-0 lead before edging over the line last night. Allen hit back to level at 3-3, then led 5-4. He was the first in among the balls in the next but his broke down to allow Selby to force a painfully tense decider which the Leicester man eventually held his nerve to win.