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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Phil Casey

Gary Wilson beats Joe O’Connor in Scottish Open final to win first ranking title

PA Archive

Gary Wilson claimed his first snooker ranking title with a commanding victory over fellow Englishman Joe O’Connor in the final of the Scottish Open final in Edinburgh.

Wilson compiled two centuries and missed the black for a third in the final frame as he completed a 9-2 win to capture the Stephen Hendry Trophy and first prize of £80,000.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” the 37-year-old from Wallsend said at the presentation ceremony broadcast on Eurosport.

“I’m well into my career now and the longer it goes on you think ‘Am I ever going to win one?’, and especially with the run of form I’ve had the last couple of years.

“I’ve never even looked like getting anywhere near this stage; it’s absolutely unbelievable to be honest.

“I’m just so so happy. I’ve worked so hard for so many years, been in so many situations where I thought it would never come.”

Wilson, who had lost his previous two ranking finals in the 2015 China Open and 2021 British Open, made the ideal start with a century in the opening frame before O’Connor levelled the scores with a break of 99 in the second.

O’Connor was also in first in frame three but missed a vital pink on 64 and Wilson produced a superb 67 clearance to edge back in front.

Wilson also won the fourth frame to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval before O’Connor reduced his deficit, but breaks of 102 and 74 helped Wilson take a 6-2 advantage into the evening session.

O’Connor had beaten Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams, Ricky Walden and Neil Robertson to reach his first ranking final but could not forge a comeback and Wilson won the three frames he needed for victory.

“I’ve had an amazing week, beat a lot of top 16 players and unfortunately today I didn’t play my best,” O’Connor said. “But congratulations to Gary, he played amazing and fully deserved the win.”

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