Gilbert makes 144 break in beating Maguire to reach Masters semi-final

David Gilbert

2020 Dafabet Masters on the BBC
Dates: 12-19 January Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Debutant David Gilbert made a tournament-high 144 break in a dominant 6-2 victory over Stephen Maguire to reach the Masters semi-finals.

World number 11 Gilbert is in line for a bonus £15,000 after a stunning century in the opening frame.

The Englishman went 4-1 ahead including runs of 55 and 91 and completed the task in his first appearance at London’s Alexandra Palace.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said the 38-year-old from Derby.

In the last four, he will face the winner of Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham, who play on Friday evening.

Gilbert followed up his first round 6-1 demolition of Mark Allen with another impressive display at snooker’s most prestigious invitational event.

The 38-year-old has never won a ranking event in his career, his only triumph coming at a non-ranking Challenge Tour event in 2002 and he reached the World Championship semi-finals last season, but is now two wins away from collecting one of the sport’s premier trophies.

He started the match off with intent, stroking in a magnificent 144 and after going 3-0 and 5-1 ahead, he never looked like relinquishing his advantage, finishing with a cool 77 break.

‘You can’t get to this level without bottle’

A delighted Gilbert told BBC Sport: “My coach Steve Feeney has had a massive impact. From first lesson [he began working with him in 2018] he showed why I was making so many bad shots.

“I’ve also made sacrifices over past two years. You still have to win matches though.”

Regarding his huge opening-frame break, he said: “I can’t remember how I got in for the 144. My arm wasn’t great – I tried to keep it simple.

“Everyone says I’ve got no bottle, but you cant get to this level unless you have.”

‘I couldn’t care less who wins it’

Maguire said he “couldn’t hit anything” during the encounter.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s all about Dave,” the Scot told BBC Sport.

“He started off well with a 144 and put me under the cosh. He was a far better player. The comeback was never on – I couldn’t hit anything out there.”

He added: “I couldn’t care less who wins it.”

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