RESULTS - CENTURIES - PHOTOS BY MONIQUE LIMBOS
Looking at both Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby's form going in to the final of the Williamhill.com UK Championship final it was always going to be hard to predict a winner and for much of the match neither of them could take more than a two frame lead at the Barbican Centre, York.
In the afternoon session it looked that Murphy was running away from the two-times Masters champion at 4-2 before Selby made runs of 70 and 38 in the following frames to leave the match all-square going in to the evening session.
With them resuming at 8pm (BBC2 bizzarely was showing a repeat of history programme Timewatch at 7) it was always heading for a late finish and with the efforts of the weeks play behind them both players seemed to struggle with several frames going down to the colours before it eventually went 6-6 just before 11pm.
It was from then on that the Jester from Leicester put his foot on the gas and a break of 98 (the highest of the match) helped him go two clear at 8-6. Murphy had a great chance to peg a frame black before he missed the most simple of blue's to the middle which let Selby back in to go 9-6 and one away from the title.
After that miss the 2005 world champion's confidence seemed to be shot and after missing a cut-back red to a corner pocket it let Selby back in to just fall over the line and win him frame, match and his maiden UK Championship title. As well as the trophy and the £125,000 first prize, Selby's efforts this week have seem him retain his World no.1 status from Judd Trump. Will he be able to hold on to it in 2013?
After a horrendous start to the year suffering from neck problems and losing early in the World Championship it seems that Selby has recovered just in time to win only the third ranking title of his career. Surely you wouldn't bet against him to win a third Masters crown next month or even lifting the trophy at the Crucible in May.
Thanks to World Snooker for another well organised UK Championship and to Monique Limbos for her excellent photos from the week at the Barbican Centre. Snooker will be back on our screens this week on the 14th-16th for the fifth of the European tour events in Ravenscraig, Scotland.
Once again congratulations to Mark Selby, the Williamhill.com UK Championship 2012 champion!
Mark Selby - Snooker Williamhill.com UK Champion 2012