FURIOUS Stephen Maguire blasted the ‘diabolical’ Crucible conditions after slumping to a shock first round defeat at the World Snooker Championship.
The Glaswegian was stunned 10-4 by world No.69 Jamie Jones as his miserable run of form on the circuit continued in Sheffield.
Maguire, the world No.8, had opened up a 3-1 lead in Saturday’s opening session but fell apart on Sunday as breaks of 81, 73 and 65 from Welshman Jones dumped him out at the first hurdle for the second year running.
The Scot fumed at the table after blowing his early lead but insisted he wasn’t making excuses after another premature defeat.
The two-time semi-finalist, 40, said: “The game’s hard enough and it’s a tough game out there.
“I was talking to Jamie and I hope he tells you guys – the conditions were just diabolical. They really were.
“I said it when I was 3-1 up so I don’t mind saying it now that I lost. I did say to them when I was 3-1 up the table was shocking. So it’s no sour grapes, I’m just telling the truth.
“I was talking to Jamie during the match and he was agreeing with me, so that didn’t help.
“And when you’re not cueing well, it just magnifies it and you lose trust in your cue action and everything you’re doing. That’s what happened and that’s why I got beat easily.
“I’m frustrated. I didn’t even think there was a word for that and how I played out there. If there is a word, I’ll get fined.
“I think Jamie lost the first three frames and I didn’t do anything for the whole match – how I was 3-0 up, even a 3-1 up at the interval it didn’t reflect what was happening in the match.
“Jamie just upped his game ten per cent and he won nine out of the next ten, that’s not good enough on my part.”
Maguire has progressed past the third round of a ranking event on a single occasion this term – he reached the last four of the Welsh Open – and struggled once again on the hallowed Crucible baize.
The six-time ranking event winner could only muster a single fifty-plus break as underdog Jones, returning to the tour after a one-year ban for failing to report a corruption approach, completed the shock of the tournament so far.
And the inconsistent Scot, who has suffered a string of first round exits this season, added: “Fair play, I said to [Jamie] at the end it’s good to have him back and all the plaudits should be about Jamie.
“I’ve got a long two weeks to keep that TV off. I might travel up tonight – I don’t know. I’ll just forget about this one again – and probably forget about next year as well.”
Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3