Saturday, 15 December 2012

UK Championship 2012 - Jester from Leicester crowned in York

Mark Selby - the 2012 UK Championship winner
Mark Selby beat Shaun Murphy 10-6 in the final of the UK Championship to add one well-deserved new toy to his collection of trophies.

The player nicknamed "The Jester from Leicester" started his UK journey by taking down two powerful Welshmen, Michael White by 6-3 and Ryan Day 6-4, continued by defeating another dangerous opponent (seen as quite a favourite to win the tournament, if I may add), Neil Robertson with the same 6-4 scoreline and flew all the way to the final after a clear 9-4 victory over Mark Davis.

The final game was played against one of Selby's off-table friends, Shaun Murphy, the proud owner of an UK trophy from four years ago.

The cue-crossing was a tough one as neither of them could get on more than one frame away advantage.

Selby getting a bear hug from Shaun Murphy
So if Murphy was the one to break the ice, Selby was catching up immediately and if Selby went too far away, Murphy would draw level with the first chance he got.

The pattern was broken when "The Magician" expanded the gap at two points (aka. 4-2) with just a top break of 98, but by the end of the session things were all square at 4-4 as Selby replayed with 70, 38 and 39.

Hours later returning into the arena, the lads continued their safe game that limited them at being just one-frame apart, until Selby put his foot down and carry on potting one ball after another, thus winning one frame after another.

Vikki hugs her husband
It was a break of 51 that helped Mark to escalade the high mountain that would bring him the victory once he reached the top of it, while runs of 98 and 44 were putting him one step closer to winning the much-craved-for crown, 9-6.

The last frame wasn't filled with big breaks, but it was a genuine exhibition of great pots and safety shots battle, which in the end caused the inevitable thing to happen: Selby won by 10-6.

A very happy couple: Mark and Vikki
An enormous cheer could be heard from the audience, while an over-the-moon Selby was getting a heartfelt big hug from Murphy; and while Hazer Irvine was trying to get a few words from the champion, his wife Vikki came to hug the man "who's been though a lot of pain this past few months, and who deserved to win".

Though overwhelmed with emotion, Selby still managed to keep it cool and lifted the trophy that every snooker player would die to hold it in their arms: the UK Championship beautiful cup.

And if this is Selby's first UK Championship trophy, one could only wonder if next year, in May, the same man will break the curse and get his hands on the World Championship trophy too.



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