Carter books final spot

Ali Carter completed his journey from the brink of retirement to a place in the World Championship final as he inflicted a painful defeat on Stephen Maguire.

Essex cueman Carter was suffering so badly with Crohn's disease, the bowel condition he was diagnosed with nine years ago, that he considered walking away from the snooker tour.

"I'm as surprised as you are," Carter said. "I'm delighted to be through. The job's not done yet though."

He added: "I'm not just happy to just be in the final, so we'll see what happens."

The 32-year-old turned a 14-10 lead into a 17-12 triumph over Maguire, for whom the match appeared to be a miserable experience from start to finish.

Rarely did the run of the balls favour the Glasgow potter, who lost to John Higgins in his only previous Crucible semi-final five years ago.

Maguire also failed to produce the form which saw him send Stephen Hendry into retirement after a 13-2 quarter-final triumph, and when he lost a dramatic opening frame his hopes were effectively over.

Maguire admitted he had underestimated Carter, saying: "I think in the first session I didn't give him enough respect."

And Carter saw that from the early stages of their exchange on Thursday.

"Stephen tried to stamp his authority and I think he thought he was going to beat me quite easily, the way he started the match," Carter said. "I wasn't having any of it. I was up for it."