Mark Selby clinches UK Championship after high-quality final against Ronnie O’Sullivan

Mark Selby clinches UK Championship after high-quality final against Ronnie O’Sullivan
Mark Selby celebrates winning the Betway UK Championship with his daughter Sofia Maria and wife Vikki Layton at the York Barbican. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

Mark Selby fended off a late charge from Ronnie O'Sullivan to land his second Betway UK Championship title and shred any remaining doubts about his credibility as snooker's world number one.

In a match that peaked with a jaw-dropping stretch of play in the evening session that included three consecutive total clearances, Selby emerged a 10-7 winner.

As he lifted the trophy at the York Barbican, the 33-year-old from Leicester became the sixth player in the sport's history to secure the World Championship and UK titles in the same calendar year.

He joins illustrious company in O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Parrott and John Higgins, and as champion collects £170,000.

Come the end of the match there was no doubting Selby's relief, having seen a 7-2 lead slashed to 8-7 by a spell of vintage O'Sullivan break-building.

The five-time UK champion ploughed in breaks of 56, 80, 134, 130 and 82 to ask the question of Selby - but the challenge drew a rousing response.

O'Sullivan's two centuries in that streak had come either side of a 137 from Selby, with all three being total clearances.

The next ton came from Selby though, speaking volumes of his temperament as he made 134 to power one frame away from the winning line.

And after a cagey start to the next, Selby slotted a long red to set up a match-clinching 107, pointing to wife Vikki in the crowd as he potted the ball that made sure of another major piece of silverware.

O'Sullivan was hailed as "the best player in the world by far" earlier in the week by former UK champion Matthew Stevens, but Selby now has ample evidence to pick apart that argument.

Selby said: "To play Ronnie in any game means it's always a great atmosphere and gives you a buzz and makes you want to play well. I had to be on top of my game today.

"It's a fantastic feeling."

O'Sullivan said: "It's a fantastic night for him.

"I scored all right, but I missed too many easy balls.

"I think I did all right considering he's world number one and so far ahead of everyone else."

Selby added: "Tonight he put me under pressure, asked the questions and I was really pleased with how I held up at the end.

"I tried to stay in the moment, not get too far ahead of myself, and think that at 7-5 I'm still in the lead and would have taken that, and I just took it one ball at a time.

"To win the three majors is a great feeling, but to do it twice is even better. If I never won another tournament I'd be happy with my achievements."

More in this Section

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

World Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in DubaiWorld Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in Dubai

Keena’s heart for Ireland causeKeena’s heart for Ireland cause

Cool Mullins holds off Murphy challenge at BauravillaCool Mullins holds off Murphy challenge at Bauravilla


Lifestyle

The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner