More misery for Maguire as he hands Gould a 'bye' to extend poor Crucible record

Sportsbeat
Maguire was gutted after a sorry showing against Gould saw him crash out at the Crucible once again
Maguire was gutted after a sorry showing against Gould saw him crash out at the Crucible once again

Stephen Maguire says he never wants to play Martin Gould again after handing the world No.61 a ‘bye’ in the first round of the World Snooker Championship, writes Will Jennings.

The Glaswegian went down 10-3 at the Crucible after being blown away in Tuesday’s first session, where Gould struck four century breaks to leave the world No.9 with it all to do.

Maguire’s record against the 38-year-old now stands at ten losses in the 14 matches they’ve played, with the Tour Championship winner also falling at the first hurdle at the Crucible for the sixth time in eight years.

Maguire hates playing Gould and fumed at the draw after a sorry showing in Sheffield.

“He’s too good for me - he’s a better player and I can’t believe where he’s ranked,” the 39-year-old said.

“I’ve got a great record here in the first round - I think I’ve lost more than anybody else! When the draw came out I wasn’t happy because I’ve not got a good record against him and he always plays well, so that was probably the toughest match I could have got.

“My head was in a daze - he won the match in the first session and hats off to him, because I thought he played great.

“I hate not competing and I just gave him a bye really. I know he played well but I did have chances and I hate giving people easy matches.

“At the end of the day he was a qualifier but he was a tough qualifier - I don’t know what’s been going on with him as he shouldn’t be where he is in the world.

“He’s a far better player - he could [go deep], he never played as well tonight as he did yesterday but I suppose he didn’t have to.”

Gould stormed out of the blocks under the Crucible lights with three breaks of 103 and a further century, leaving Maguire trailing 7-2 heading into Wednesday’s second session.

And two further visits of 54 and 51 from the Pinner Potter inflicted more World Championship misery on the Scot.

Maguire is a six-time ranking event winner and recently reigned supreme in the Coral Cup in Milton Keynes, but it was the same old story on the biggest stage of all as an inability to take his chances cost him dear.

Maguire is renowned for his occasionally volatile temperament and blasted his performance in Sheffield.

“10-3 - he gave me a beating so it’s a tough one to take, and I hate not competing but I just never put up a fight,” he added.

“It’s so hard - the game’s hard and I’m the first to admit it, and it was so flat. I tried a couple of things to make something happen but then I’m looking at him potting the balls and he wasn’t flat, so maybe it was just me.

“It’s been a decent season I suppose - I’ve won a couple of titles and got a few quid in the bank, but it’s not nice to be out there, crowd or no crowd, and not compete.”

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