Snooker: Life begins at 40 as Craig celebrates Masters victory

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Former snooker professional Craig MacGillivray celebrated turning 40 years old earlier this year with victory in the opening event of the 2012/2013 Scottish Snooker Masters Series at The Red Triangle Snooker Club in Cumbernauld after a 4-2 victory over Stirling’s Jim Rushforth in the final.

The first four frames were shared before MacGillivray cleared the colours to steal the fifth frame before a 96 break in the sixth was enough for MacGillivray to secure victory.

MacGillivray said: “It was my first Masters event and I am really pleased to have won the title.

“I haven’t really played since the Euros in Latvia, so I was a bit rusty to begin with, but I 
got stronger throughout the tournament.

“Jim’s a really good player and he played well and made it a really tough match for me. At 2-2, the match could have gone either way, but I managed to steal the fifth frame and that gave me the momentum to go on and win the match.”

MacGillivray had earlier qualified from the group stages comfortably with four wins out of four, making a 131 break on the way, which turned out to 
be the highest break of the 
tournament.

The Granton ace then overcame a 3-1 deficit in the quarter-finals against Perth’s Scott Dunbar before winning the next three frames to secure a 4-3 victory. He then followed it up by whitewashing Scott McFarlane 4-0 to reach the final.

As well as being pleased with his victory, MacGillivray, who reached a career highest ranking of 69 in the world, was delighted to get the opportunity to renew some old acquaintances at the Cumbernauld event.

He added: “It was a great 
atmosphere and, being my first Masters series event since turning 40, there were a number of guys there who I hadn’t seen for a long time, so it was great to meet up again and catch up on what they’ve been getting up to.

“Scott McFarlane played as a junior at the same time as me and he always got the better of me back then. It has taken me over 20 years, but I have at least managed to get some revenge on him. I am sure, though, that he will be determined to get me back in the next event!”

The Granton ace believes that the victory was just the tonic he needed in his preparation for the World Amateur Championship in Bulgaria next month.

He said: “I am really looking forward to the event, but I need to knuckle down now and put in the hours on the practice table so that I am really sharp when I get over there.”

MacGillivray admitted, though, that getting time on the practice table is not always easy as he balances working as a taxi driver and spending time with his partner Sami and ten-month old son.

He added: “I still love snooker, but there are different priorities in my life these days than there used to be. I am still confident that I can compete at a high level and I am determined to give the game my best shot and do as well as I can.”