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Snooker

Well, what an epic the final of the World Snooker Championship was this year. Mark Selby had to qualify to play the tournament and got through no fewer than two former world champions to reach the final (Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon). He wasn’t on form on the Sunday sessions and the day ended with him 12-4 down to Higgins. I thought it was going to be rather a dull final, perhaps without an evening session on Monday, but I was wrong. Mark came out on fire and finished the first session of Monday’s play 12-10 down, winning six frames in a row before play finished. Incredible. He got right up to within one frame of Higgins at 14-13 but, in the end, the experience won the day and Higgins took his second win 18-13.

As finals go, this was a good one. Two frames lasted about an hour with one of the finest safety exchanges I’ve seen. They were some 20 minutes on the yellow ball; this was around midnight but neither player showed any signs of flagging.

For me, Mark Selby was the player of the tournament. To come back from 12-4 to reach 14-13 shows the kind of dogged determination of a future champion. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win it soon.

This was the latest final yet, finishing at around 1 a.m. (so 2 a.m. for me) and Higgins is pushing to have future finals start earlier. Rightly so, too. I was done in yesterday and ended up in bed at 10 p.m. with a pounding headache. Mark Selby may be 23, but I’m not!