Mark Selby Battles Back In Crucible Final With Stunning 147

Selby is now just 9-7 behind Luca Brecel
23:34, 30 Apr 2023

Mark Selby made a brilliant first ever 147 maximum break seen in a Crucible final on Sunday night as he battled back against Luca Brecel.

The Leicester Jester became the 10th player in history to enjoy the moment of snooker perfection at the iconic theatre in Sheffield.

And it was the 14th time in total one has been made, with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry both doing it three times.

For world No2 Selby himself it was a fifth career maximum on the 40th anniversary of Cliff Thorburn’s first at the venue.

Importantly it saw him close to 9-7 behind, and still surfing on adrenaline he also added the last of the evening to stand only one frame behind at 9-8 going into Monday’s final two sessions.

Kyren Wilson had already made one this year and as things stand the pair will share the £55,000 high break prize.

For Selby, 39, there were hugs from Belgian Brecel and Sheffield referee Brendan Moore – officiating in his last match on the snooker tour.

As Selby milked the applause and the ecstatic crowd did a Mexican wave, BBC commentator Dennis Taylor said: “Just listen to the noise…take a bow Mark Selby, what a magnificent break.

“And referee Brendan Moore, in his last ever match, has got to do a maximum!”

Selby said: “I wasn’t thinking about the maximum until 72, as I really needed the frame at that stage. But I felt calm all the way through.

“The reaction from the crowd was amazing, the atmosphere electric when I potted the final black and I made sure I stayed to enjoy it. To make a 147 here is hard enough, in a final is great.

“Then it was really important to re-focus and win the last of the night.”

Earlier Selby had trailed 6-2 after the first afternoon session – and had come into the match angrily defending his style of play coming into a sixth world final.

He only finished his semi-final against Mark Allen at 12.48am on Sunday after the pair were behind schedule for being hauled off three frames early on Friday.

World No2 Selby said: “Obviously when Mark and I got pulled off three frames early on Friday, everyone is going ‘it’s Selby again’.

“And then I looked at the average shot times, and Mark Allen was a second or two slower than me!

“And because I was involved straight away it’s ‘Selby is dragging it out again, here he goes, he’s getting his claws in’. But I just play a frame for what it is.

“You get it on social media all the while too, the keyboard warriors who sit at home behind there phones and laptops and have never met you in their life.

“They slag you off and then if they ever did meet you, they’d be straight up asking for a picture and a signed programme.

“I get it all the while, but I just don’t reply. If anyone sends me a sh*tty message, I just mute them and they’re gone.

“There was a guy a few years ago who once said to me on Twitter ‘I can’t stand watching you play, I hope someone stabs you with a rusty sword’. So I just told him I was playing again the next day on TV.

“Within five minutes he’s back saying ‘Great banter Mark’, and I’m thinking ‘You wanted me dead 10 minutes ago’. Even Steve Davis has called me the ultimate boa constrictor!”

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