Old Rivals Anthony McGill And Jack Lisowski Reunite In “Peter Ebdon Derby”

McGill and Lisowski, who have been locking horns since their junior days, meet at the Crucible on Saturday
22:30, 21 Apr 2023

Anthony McGill and Jack Lisowski share a coach in former world champion Peter Ebdon – and also a burning desire to win snooker’s greatest prize.

Scotland’s McGill, 32, has been locking horns with his English rival since junior days, and at that time the man known as ‘Jackpot’ held the upper hand.

But since both turned professional it is world No21 McGill that has a 4-1 winning head to head record, including a first-round World Championship success three years ago.


Glasgow’s McGill practices in a unit in the city with four-time world champion John Higgins, and former UK Championship winner Stephen Maguire.

He has already won two low-key ranking titles, but many of his best wins have come at the Crucible where he appears to relish the tight surroundings and intimate atmosphere.

And there is intrigue as to how Ebdon, who beat Stephen Hendry in the final to win the title in 2002, will divide his time between the two players with Lisowski surprisingly yet to win a ranking title.

McGill, on hearing Lisowski suggest it might be safest to just keep Ebdon away from the theatre altogether, said: “I’d be cool with sending Peter home as well!

“I’d rather not play someone sharing the same mental coach…I’d be perfectly happy if Peter stayed in his bed. 

“But in reality I don’t really mind. As long as Peter’s only telling me what he thinks I can be doing better, I have no problem with him telling Jack what he can be doing better. That’s what he’s there for.

“As long as he’s not in there giving me stick saying ‘beat that Scottish so and so’ as long as there’s none of that it will be alright. I’ve no idea what will happen - we’ll find out.

“Jack is an incredible player, and it would be good for the game if he really broke through – just hopefully not this week, because I’d like to win the match. He’s got everything, he’s so easy to watch.

“He used to beat me all the time in juniors, but he used to beat everybody. I was not on the same level as Jack at that time and the junior standard then was amazing.

“But it doesn’t really matter too much who’s the best at 14. As long as you’re making small improvements consistently then that’s all that matters.

“I’ve closed the gap a little bit, since then however he probably finds it much harder to beat me now. But back then he could easily beat me with a session to spare.

“I’m ranked where I’m ranked for the tour that we’ve got. There’s no ‘I should be higher’ or ‘I should be lower’. I am where I am.

“I’m ranked around 20, and there’s 100 players below me who would love to be ranked 20. Everybody would love to be higher.

“But you look at guys falling off the tour and you think ‘they’re unbelievable, how are they falling off the tour and I’m fudging about around 20’. I’m just happy to not be off the tour!”

Lisowski is only too aware that McGill, who knocked out Judd Trump in the first round, has also beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy at the Crucible.

He said: “Anthony comes alive at this tournament. I don’t know what happens to him the rest of the year. He’s a tough draw, I’ve played him here before and he beat me 10-9.

“That’s very nice to hear Anthony say I could have Peter Ebdon to myself because I was with him first…but I wouldn’t feel good taking that! Though maybe I’ll ask him where his loyalties lie.

“It will be tough for Peter. It’s going to happen sometimes, and it happened to Chris Henry in the final a couple of years ago with Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy.

“I’d certainly cut it off with Peter if I saw him having breakfast with Anthony on the morning of the game!”

Betfred's McGill vs Lisowski Match Odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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