/ Snooker

Brecel's Crucible challenge ended by Maguire

Updated: Monday, 23 Apr 2012 15:34

Brecel can be pleased with his maiden performance at the Crucible
Brecel can be pleased with his maiden performance at the Crucible

Stephen Maguire put an emphatic end to Luca Brecel's first Betfred.com World Championship campaign on Monday morning. 

Brecel, who became the youngest player in the history of the tournament, left the arena smiling despite losing 10-5 to Maguire, a former semi-finalist in Sheffield. 

Brecel showed flashes of his quality during the first session, in which he made his first century on snooker's most famous stage, but he was always behind and Maguire goes on to play either Graeme Dott or Joe Perry in the second round. 

The Belgian, who won four qualifying matches to reach the main draw, was 6-3 behind heading into this morning's concluding session.

He had been 6-1 behind at one stage but clawed two frames back last night with breaks of 116 and 62, and followed those with an 86 in today's opener.

Maguire soon took charge though, and runs of 101 and 94 saw him over the line.

Brecel thrilled the crowd at times with some rapid break-building, but a rash of unforced mistakes cost him.

He said: "I found the crowd really enthusiastic and really enjoyed it.

"The Crucible was a little bit special, different to everywhere I've played before.

"I know I can play so much better. But I want to be back next year and the future will be a different story."

Brecel will finish the season outside the world's top 64, but it would be a major shock if he was not awarded a place on the tour for 2012/13.

"I haven't been told about a wild card for next season. No one has mentioned anything to me about getting one," he said.

"I'm thinking positively about the future."

Asked about the prospect of becoming world champion in future, Brecel said, "Yes, easy", before revising his answer, saying: "Yes, it's definitely possible." 

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