‘Super-Granite’ Selby edges Murphy to win 4th World Championship Title

Written by Adam Stanworth

The four-time World Champion triumphed with an 18-15 victory at a packed Crucible

It was a final befitting of the occasion as a capacity crowd returned for the first time in the UK since March 2020 to watch a magnificent contest between the 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy, and World number two Mark Selby.

As the finalists were welcomed to the table, the 980 fans lucky enough to be inside the Crucible let out a deafening roar to greet them, in what was a poignant moment both in snooker and wider terms as it represented a step towards normality.

Going into the final session, Selby led by 14 frames to 11 and continued where he left off by taking the 26th frame with an improbable final red shot but for the next four frames it was a case of tit-for-tat as Murphy would shave off the Leicester man’s four-frame advantage before the latter reinstated it.

With Selby on the verge of an emphatic victory at 17-13, Shaun Murphy produced a stunning couple of centuries to claw back the deficit and whip up a lively crowd.

Just as it seemed The Magician was on the verge of pulling a rabbit out of the hat after he edged towards an improbable comeback to replicate Peter Ebdon’s 2002 18-17 win over Stephen Hendry, Murphy gifted Selby a golden opportunity to take the tie as he missed a well-placed red.

Selby took full advantage of Murphy’s glaring error as he potted the black to take the decisive frame with a scintillating 120 and seal his fourth World title, as well as his 20th major.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mark Selby said: “To win it once against Ronnie O’Sullivan for the first time was a dream come true – to win it four times is something I could only have dreamed of”

Meanwhile, Shaun Murphy conceded on BBC Two: “Mark is super-granite, unfortunately for me.”

“I started well but he went into super-hard mode, he broke me last night with that three-frame lead which is a significant lead in a match like this.”

Its been a magical 17 days of snooker in Sheffield and it has arguably proven that the time is right to re-introduce the people that make sport so special: the fans.

Written by Adam Stanworth

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