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UK Championship final: Ding Junhui leads Stephen Maguire after first session

UK Championship final: Ding Junhui leads Stephen Maguire after first session

China's Ding Junhui opened up a 5-3 lead over Scotland's Stephen Maguire after an intriguing first session of the UK Championship final in York.

Ding, 32, last won the tournament a decade ago and made back-to-back centuries to take a 4-0 lead.

But 2004 winner Maguire responded by claiming three in a row and he should have levelled, but Ding claimed the eighth frame to edge ahead.

The best-of-19 final concludes from 19:00 GMT, live on BBC TV and online.

Both players have failed to win silverware in recent years, the most recent of Ding's 13 ranking titles coming over two years ago at the 2017 World Open, while Maguire's drought has lasted even longer, last triumphing at the Welsh Open in 2013.

The Scot, 38, produced a sensational semi-final performance to thrash Mark Allen 6-0 but failed to replicate that high-scoring form in the opening session of the final.

Ding, who defeated defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last 16, snatched a 30-minute opening frame and fired in further breaks of 56, 105 and 128.

Maguire hit back after the mid-session interval by taking another frame that lasted over half an hour and counter-attacked with an important 67 break after Ding broke down on 49.

The Glaswegian took the next as well to trail by a single frame and had the chance to square the contest at 4-4 but missed a blue, allowing Ding to make 66 to lead by two frames.

Junhui 5-3 Maguire

95-38, 62-23 56, 105-16 105, 128-12 128, 25-93, 49-77 67, 12-76, 67-28 66

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