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article imageRyan Day wins snooker Riga Masters Special

By Tim Sandle     Jun 26, 2017 in Sports
Riga - Wales' Ryan Day won the first snooker tournament of the new season by beating Scotland's Stephen Maguire in the short-sprint final, by five frames to two.
It doesn't seem that long since Mark Selby was lifting the world snooker championship at Sheffield in May before the new snooker season kicks off (Digital Journal's world final report can be found here). The opening event was a ranking tournament, played over a shorter frames tally. The event was the Kaspersky Riga Masters (#RigaMasters) and it took place in Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia. The final was contested between Ryan Day, from Wales (aged 37) and Stephen Maguire, aged 36, of Scotland. Both players are experienced and have been on the circuit for around twenty years.
To reach the final both players were involved in tough semi-final matches. Maguire beat Ireland's Ken Doherty by 5 frames to 4. This was tough match, during which Maguire, seeded 17, secured only three breaks over 50 (runs of 58, 53 and 54); Doherty, appearing in a major semi-final in the first time in six years, compiled a high break of 52 in wining the second frame 101-0. Day was involved in an equally tough match, defeating fellow Welshman and twice former world champion Mark Williams by the same scoreline of 5-4. Day compiled breaks of 77 and 70.
Earlier in the tournament, Neil Robertson who was was the defending champion, lost in the first round to the unfancied Lukas Kleckers. The tournament saw the self-styled 'People's Champion' Jimmy White reach the last 16. The highest break of the tournament was made by Andrew Higginson, a splendid break of 140.
In the final, refereed by Ben Williams, an early finished appeared likely as Day, the number 11 seed, went irresistibly 4-0 up, compiling breaks of 59 and 77. After the mid-session interval Maguire superbly avoided a whitewash by compiling a solid century break, a run of 119. The Scotsman also won the next frame 77-0. The seventh frame was a closely fought affair. Day clinched the frame aided by a 58 break, winning the match.
The frame scores were (Day first):
78-33 (59), 76-50, 77-0 (77), 74-46, 11-123 (119), 0-77, 75-41 (58)
The final can be viewed here:
Victory marked Day's first major tournament on the circuit and his second win in all (Day won a professional tournament back in 2001, although one that did not carry ranking points). Prior to this tournament, Day had lost four previous ranking tournament finals. Day won £50,000 ($65,000) and Maguire received £25,000 ($33,000) consolation.
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