ANTHONY McGill wants Ronnie O’Sullivan to take him under his wing after the plucky Glaswegian ruffled the Rocket’s feathers before eventually bowing out of the UK Snooker Championship.
McGill, 23, had been one of the stories of the tournament in York after seeing off legendary Scot John Higgins in the fourth round to set up a quarter-final clash with O’Sullivan.
And the Rocket, fresh from his 13th career perfect break on Thursday, was handed his biggest fright of the Championship so far after McGill took an early 2-0 lead.
World No 38 McGill was pegged back but he did have his chances – in particular missing a straightforward yellow with the scores locked at 3-3 – but O’Sullivan went on to eke out a 6-4 victory. McGill said afterwards: “I said to Ronnie after the match if I could speak to him outside as I’d like to pick his brain and get some advice off of him about what I can do better. He seems quite complimentary of me so, hopefully, I can catch him and have a chat.
“I missed a few when I just wasn’t concentrating at all. I felt absolutely fine and I loved being out there, but I just kept taking my eye off and breaking down,” added McGill.
“I didn’t feel like ‘oh my god I’m playing Ronnie O’Sullivan’, there were just balls that I thought I couldn’t miss.
“You can’t keep getting away with that – I was doing the same against John [Higgins] so I was going to get found out down the line.”
In the afternoon’s other game at the Barbican, Scottish interest took another blow, with Graeme Dott crashing out after Stuart Bingham snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Dott had arguably been the most consistent performer in the tournament so far – dispatching reigning champion Neil Robertson after a fourth-round decider – but this time he was the one to lose out in the deciding frame.
Bingham bounced back from three frames down to win 6-5, and Dott, who now misses the cut for the Masters in January, admits fate wasn’t on his side.
Dott said: “[Bingham] played well, there’s no doubt about it – I just think the snooker gods didn’t want me to win. I kind of felt that way when I was in the balls to go 5-1 up and I got a kick.
“If it got to there I think the match would have been done, so you start to think that it maybe isn’t going to be your day.
“It’s just the way it goes, I could easily have lost against Neil [Robertson] and I had a bit of luck to win there, but I certainly didn’t have any luck to win this match.
“There are plenty of positives to take from this tournament as I’m playing OK, but it’s gut-wrenching to lose at the last hurdle because I miss the Masters again.”
Judd Trump also booked his place in the semi-finals with a resounding 6-1 victory against Mark Davis. Breaks of 72 and 58 saw 2011 winner Trump race into a 2-0 lead before Davis responded with a 58 of his own to get on the board by winning the third frame. Any hope the match would be as closely fought as the two earlier last-eight matches soon evaporated, though, as Trump registered half-century breaks to win the subsequent four frames and wrap up victory with the minimum of fuss.
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