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Gary Wilson wins maiden ranking title by landing Scottish Open crown

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Gary Wilson claimed his maiden ranking title in Edinburgh last year

Gary Wilson claimed the first ranking title of his career at the Scottish Open after a dominant 9-2 victory over Joe O’Connor in the final on Sunday.

The Tyneside Terror landed the maiden silverware of his 12 years as a professional as he lifted the Stephen Hendry trophy at the Meadowbank Sport Centre in Edinburgh, while enjoying his biggest pay day after pocketing a cheque for £80,000.

Wilson hit two centuries and a further three breaks over 60 as he made it third time lucky in a ranking final, having fallen just short at the 2015 China Open and last year’s British Open.

The 37-year-old became the 16th different winner in the Home Nations Series since its launch in 2016, while also climbing to 18th in the world rankings.

“It’s almost like a home event, I suppose,” said Wilson, whose mother is half-Scottish.

“I’m well into my career now and the longer it goes on, you think ‘am I ever going to win one?’

“Especially 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.

“That’s me happy now to an extent for a good while. If I don’t win another tournament, at least I’ve got that one.

“To play decent in a big occasion, I’m just so happy to do the business. Hopefully, I can finally play my own game and show what I’m capable of.

“Hats off to Joe. He’s going to win a tournament one day; I think it’s without a doubt.”

Though surprise finalists, both players had certainly earned the right to reach the showpiece.

Between them, they took out the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, Zhao Xintong, Mark Williams and Ding Junhui to stand on the brink of glory.

Wilson drew first blood with a lovely clearance of 102, but O’Connor swiftly levelled with 99.

Appearing in his first ranking final, the world number 55 looked set to take the lead but missed frame-ball pink on 64, and his opponent ruthlessly cleared to snatch it on the black.

The next two frames were shared before Wilson took control; breaks of 102 and 74 establishing a commanding 6-2 lead at the conclusion of the afternoon session.

There was no reprieve for O’Connor upon the resumption. Any hopes of a revival were dashed when Wilson cleared with 38 to steal frame 10 on the black, before a run of 94 sealed the deal.

“I’ve had an amazing week. I’ve beaten a lot of top-16 players,” added the Leicester cueist, who overcame Zhao, Williams, Walden and Robertson in Edinburgh.

“Unfortunately today, I didn’t play my best. But congratulations to Gary; he played amazing and fully deserved the win. I loved every minute of it.”