SF2: Wayne Martin 5-3 Bash Maqsood

SF2: Wayne Martin 5-3 Bash Maqsood

Wayne Martin defeated Bash Maqsood 5-3 in the second semi-final of The Snooker TV Masters on Thursday evening.

Martin got off to a great start, breaks of 17, 15 and a 66 clearance putting him 1-0 up.  In frame two it was Maqsood’s turn to put on a show.  A break of 55 was followed up with a fine 67 clearance and the match was level at 1-1.

The third frame saw Maqsood struggle.  Martin could only muster a modest 23 break but he combined it with a few mini breaks and that was enough to put him 2-1 up.

The fourth frame was nip and tuck until Martin compiled a lovely 82 break, missing a simple green to scupper what looked like a certain century break.

The interval seemed to suit Maqsood more than it did Martin.  Maqsood had runs of 16 and 34 in the fifth frame to take a healthy 45 point lead.  A very nice 35 break from Martin followed but Maqsood potted yellow to blue to take the frame.

Maqsood made a good 33 break early in frame six, a kick on the black halting the break prematurely.  He was soon back in though, a steady 39 break putting him 60 points ahead with just 43 on the table and he was soon level at 3-3.

The final two frames were full of drama and tension as both players seemed to feel the pressure, knowing that a place in the final awaited the winner.  Maqsood started the seventh frame brightly, a break of 44 signalling his intent.  However Martin gradually clawed his way back into it and he trailed by just 14 points going into the colours.  Martin then potted the yellow and snookered Maqsood on the green.  Maqsood very sportingly called a foul on himself as he feathered the white.  He followed this by missing the green altogether.  Martin potted the green to trail by just one point and after a bout of safety and some glaring misses from both players it was Martin who potted brown, blue and pink to lead 4-3.

The eighth frame proved to be the last.  Martin got in first with a run of 12 and Maqsood hit back with a 16.  The tension was incredible and both players were struggling to hold their nerve.  Martin took the lead again thanks to a knock of 13 before Maqsood replied with a 14 break to trail by just one point.  The last two reds were shared and it was now Maqsood who led by four points going into the colours.  Martin potted the yellow but failed to get on the green.  After another bout of safety Maqsood potted the green and a decider looked on the cards, but he made a hash of the position and he failed to get on the brown.  Another bout of safety followed before Maqsood potted the brown only to snooker himself on the blue!  Martin was left with an easy blue into the corner but he somehow missed it and left Maqsood with a chance to pot it and go 14 up with 13 remaining.  Sure enough Maqsood potted the blue but he watched in horror as the white went in-off!  After another bout of safety Maqsood found himself snookered on the blue.  He played a good swerve shot to hit it but unluckily went in-off again and Martin now led by one point.  Martin cut the blue into the middle bag and played safe.  A few safety shots followed but Maqsood made the first mistake, leaving Martin a chance at a tricky long pink.  He held his nerve superbly to pot the pink for frame and match.

It was a wonderful semi-final and once again it was a shame there had to be a loser.  Maqsood took home £50 as losing semi-finalist and Martin can now look forward to a final against Brian Cox.

The final will be best of 15 frames played over two sessions, date yet to be agreed.  The winner will take home £600 and the runner up £200.  May the best man win!

Frame Scores (Martin first)
98(66)-7,1-122(55,67),54-9,96(82)-17,44(35)-68(34),35-76(33,39),59-45(44),55-43

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