World Snooker Championship: Jackson Page equals record as Stephen Maguire edges Shaun Murphy

April 17, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Welsh Open 2020 - Day 2
Jackson Page scored the biggest win of his career on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Jackson Page became just the second Crucible debutant in history to make three centuries in his first ever match at the arena as he stunned Barry Hawkins in a 10-7 victory.

The 20-year-old has been tipped to become a force in the game for some time by his mentor Mark Williams and showed early promise when he appeared at the Welsh Open at just 15 years old, but he has now landed the biggest win of his career so far.

The Welshman took a 6-3 lead into the second session and was quickly pegged back by the experienced Hawk who won the first two frames of Sunday evening.

With the match winding to 8-7 in Page’s favour, it looked to be anyone’s but then the youngster showed immense quality to make back-to-back centuries of 128 and 135 to win the match in supreme style.

Waiting in the next round is probably going to be his friend, mentor and practice partner Williams, who leads Michael White 7-2 after their first session.

‘I suppose it’s fitting really isn’t it. I’ll look forward to it, I’m sure Mark will as well,’ Page told Eurosport. ‘We’ll still be pals after it.’

The youngest player at the Crucible this year added: ‘Whoever loses will probably be banned from the club for two months.’

The only other man to make three centuries on debut at the Crucible was another Welshman, Ryan Day, back in 2004. Although, remarkably, Day lost that match to John Higgins.

On the other table on Sunday night it was a heavyweight clash between Shaun Murphy and Stephen Maguire which the latter came out on top of with a hard-fought 10-8 win.

It was quite an odd match which did not see much of either player’s best form. Illustrated by Maguire winning 10 frames and only knocking in two breaks of over 70.

‘A long, long match. Long two days really, it wasn’t the best stuff,’ Maguire told Eurosport. ‘I think we dragged each other down. We’re getting old, that’s why.

The 14th frame alone lasted 72 minutes and saw all manner of odd things happening, including Murphy flicking a ball with his hand and Maguire admitting he was ‘trying not to laugh’ when it happened.

That made the score level at 7-7 and with Murphy taking the next to go ahead, Maguire admitted: ‘I honestly thought he’d win the match after that frame and it was probably the best thing that happened to me because then I let loose.

‘That’s how you should play. If you get beat, you get beat. I just let the cue go, go down swinging.’

Maguire will have to be better in the next round against Zhao Xintong who demolished Jamie Clarke 10-2 in his first round match and the Scot is thoroughly impressed with him.

‘This kid’s the real deal. Everyone was waiting on him a couple of years ago because he’s a replica of Jimmy [White], he really is,’ said Maguire.

‘His long game is some of the best I’ve seen and now he’s scoring, he’s competing with safety, match play and I can’t speak highly enough of him, I think he’s great.’

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