PTC Grand Finals 2013 – Day 1 Report

Belfast potter Joe Swail was the star of the day after beating Stephen Maguire on the opening day of the PTC Grand Finals. Picture: Monique Limbos (World Snooker)

Joe Swail was the star of the day after beating Stephen Maguire on Day 1 of the PTC Grand Finals. Picture by Monique Limbos (World Snooker)

FORMER World Championship semi-finalist Joe Swail produced the mother of all comebacks to defeat Stephen Maguire on the opening day of the PTC Grand Finals.

The Belfast potter, who dropped off the main tour last year and has been playing as an amateur this season, looked set for a quick return home when he trailed the Glaswegian 3-0.

But Swail managed to delight the Galway crowd with a brilliant fightback which saw him stun the Scot by winning the remaining four frames to clinch a place in the last 16.

After the game Swail said he was delighted on how his form had turned around. He told World Snooker: “I haven’t had much to shout about over the last few years, it has been tough,”

“I knew things would turn around on and off the table. I knew sooner or later it would come, but what a way for it to come here, beating one of the top players from 3-0 down. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

And that was not the only surprise of the day as Cheltenham born star Jack Lisowski managed to cause a big upset by knocking world number two Mark Selby in a seven frame thriller.

A surprise looked on the card when Lisowski took a 2-1 and a 3-2 lead. But this season’s UK Championship and Masters winner pegged back twice to force the match into a decider.

In a very edgy frame both players missed several chances to take the match by the throat. Selby missed a simple red to the middle pocket early on but misses from the 21-year-old kept his hopes of victory alive.

But when Selby left the final red on after trying to play safe there was no way back as Lisowski held his nerve to dish out the colours and seal a memorable win – arguably the biggest of his career to date.

Elsewhere, Haikou World Open winner Mark Allen continued his fine form in excellent fashion with a 4-0 win over Mark Davis and Barry Hawkins thumped China’s Li Hang by the same scoreline.

Neil Robertson, who reached the final of this event last year, came back from 2-0 down to beat Scotland’s Jamie Burnett and Tom Ford battled his way to a 4-2 win over Martin Gould.

Wednesday sees more first round action with the stand out match being John Higgins vs Ali Carter. World number one Judd Trump will take to the baize when he meets Alfie Burden and home favourite Ken Doherty will aim to please his fans when he takes on Norwegian star Kurt Maflin.

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