Defending champion Matty Hill will face John Purcell in the final of the 2019/20 Barrow Individual Snooker League after they came through their respective semi-finals.

It was fairly straightforward for Hill, who brushed past Martin McDonald with a 6-1 victory, while Purcell prevented a repeat of last year’s final by battling to a 6-4 win against Danny Macdonald.

Purcell, a three-time The Mail snooker champion, is in his first season in the league and he had got past John Tyerman in the quarter finals to make it to the Soccer Bar and face Macdonald, who had seen off Tommy Barbour.

Macdonald started well, with some good potting and a 30-plus break allowing him to take the first frame, but Purcell began to settle and his trademark excellent single-ball potting led to him levelling the match.

Some basic errors from Macdonald were then pounced upon by Purcell, who went 2-1 up, only for Macdonald to square things up with a fiendish snooker that led to him gaining several points through the miss rule.

However, Purcell then took a firm grip on proceedings by winning the next three frames to open up a 5-2 lead.

Macdonald wasn’t going quietly, though, as he began to play more freely to take the following two frames to reduce the gap to 5-4 and ensure a gripping finish.

He looked set to take the match into a decider when he potted the last red in the tenth to go 26 points ahead and leaving needing just one colour to clinch the frame.

He was forced into playing for a snooker on the yellow, which Purcell had to re-take after missing, and after getting a snooker back, the newcomer held his nerve to clear up and book his place in the final.

The first frame between Hill and McDonald was a high-quality one, as a 38 break from the former was followed by 50 from the latter, but Hill took it with a clearance after smashing in a long yellow.

McDonald led again in the second, only for Hill to again show his class with another break over 30 to go 2-0 up and was then in ruthless form in taking all bar one of the remaining frames.

He finished in style as well, with his outstanding 73 break in the last being the highlight of the match.

Hill and Purcell will now meet in the final at the Soccer Bar on Saturday, March 21, which will also have a fundraiser for locked-in syndrome sufferer Darren Leith.

The raffle will start at 6:30pm, with the snooker itself due to get under way at 7pm for what should be a very close match to call between the 2019 champion and the debutant.