Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump and Anthony McGill battled it out for 24 frames at the Crucible this week and both came away with smiles on their faces after loving the friendliest of contests.
Trump won the three-session match 13-11 to book his spot in the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals, but only after the Scot gave him a scare on Monday evening.
McGill was 10-6 behind going into the final session but won four of the first five frames to make things very interesting, then came close to forcing a decider in what turned out to be the last.
Despite the hard-fought and close nature of the game, there were smiles and laughs from both players throughout and a friendly exchange at the end of the contest.
Trump says it is always the same with McGill and they both can enjoy the fight knowing that it is all taken the right way.
‘I think the game was played in good spirits, it always is with him,’ said Trump. ‘There’s no grudges there, it’s as if you’re practicing out there and you’re bringing the best out of each other.
‘He’s always someone that would say, “good shot” and the same back to him, you feed off each other’s energy.
‘When I won I think he just asked me if I felt under pressure or if he put me under pressure.
‘I was over the moon to get over the line in the end.’
McGill was disappointed to lose, but was clearly buzzing to have been involved in an excellent game and to have played so well on Monday, making breaks of 124, 106, 78, 77 and 51 in the five frames he won.
‘Just appreciation I’m here, really. I’ve loved every minute of it,’ said McGill on how he felt after the loss.
‘Even the sessions I didn’t play so well. I played good tonight so I was pleased, the two sessions against Liam [Highfield] I didn’t really play and the first two sessions here I didn’t really play.
‘You kind of feel bad because people are paying their money to come and watch you and you’ve got nothing to give them. But I’m sure they had a good time tonight.
‘I was just happy to be here playing. Feel lucky to be here and competing. It’s even better when you’re playing well. It was a brilliant atmosphere here tonight. I was thinking, “This is a cracking night at the Crucible, everyone in here is having a great time.”
‘Brilliant night at the Crucible, I wish I’d have won the match obviously, but I had a great time.’
Trump moves on to take on Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals and he feels that his game and his confidence is coming back after an uncertain feeling before the tournament.
He hopes to take the spirit of the McGill game into the clash with Bingham and if he can then he is confident of hitting form.
‘It’s easy to do it in a session,’ he said. ‘If I can feel like that from the start against Stuart and play how I know I can play with freedom, I just enjoyed it more tonight.
‘Even if I’d have lost it was so much more enjoyable to be part of a game like that.
‘Hopefully I can bring that because there’s definitely a lot more belief than when I started the tournament.’
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