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World Snooker Championship final LIVE: Latest score updates as Mark Selby and Luca Brecel battle for title

Mark Selby and Luca Brecel will complete their battle to win the 2023 World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre this evening, with the Belgian Bullet on the brink of a shock victory.

Selby made history on Sunday evening as he became the first man to make a maximum 147 break in the world final in emotional, jubilant scenes at the Crucible during the second session of the best-of-35 contest. However, a Brecel onslaught on Monday afternoon saw him move within three frames of the winning line at 15-10, leaving Selby requiring one of his patented comebacks to turn the match around.

The 39-year-old Englishman has four world titles to his name and is trying become only the fourth player in the Crucible era to win a fifth, following in the path of Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan. However, supremely talented Belgian Brecel, who at 28 is starting to find the best form of his career, is in a strong position to claim his first crown.

Follow all the action from the Crucible Theatre with our live blog, below:

World Snooker Championship final

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:14 , Ben Fleming

Brecel begins the evening session right where he left off this afternoon. Selby gives him a sniff with an average safety and the Belgian takes full advantage with a sumptuous long pot into the bottom-left pocket for the first red of the frame.

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:10 , Ben Fleming

The players are out and a reminder of what is at stake.

Luca Brecel had never won a match at the Crucible prior to this year. Now the Belgian is just three frames away from Snooker’s greatest prize and the chance to become mainland Europe’s first World Champion.

Mark Selby yesterday became the first person to hit a 147 break in the final of the World Championships and will now target a remarkable comeback in this final session to win his fifth world title.

The handshakes are done and Selby gets us going...

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:04 , Ben Fleming

And we are back! What an evening we have in store and the start of the final session is fast approaching.

If you’re just tuning in, then you missed a marvellous afternoon session earlier in the day at The Crucible which left Luca Brecel on the verge of his maiden World Championship title.

The Belgian Bullet won six frames out of eight with four century breaks meaning he now needs just three frames in this final session to triumph over four-time champion Mark Selby.

Having won the opening four frames on the spin, Brecel was pegged back after the mid-session interval with Selby winning back-to-back frames. But the final two frames and session overall belonged to Brecel who won the last two frames in superb style to move ever closer to a shock win.

World Snooker Championship prize money: Rewards for winner, runner-up, highest break and 147

18:30 , Luke Baker

Luca Brecel and Mark Selby are fighting it out to win the 2023 World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, with a huge paycheque on the line.

Selby already has some money secured this year after scoring a famous maximum 147 break – the first time it has ever been done in a Crucible final. He will share the prize for a 147 as well as the tournament’s highest break reward with Kyren Wilson, who also pulled off the feat in the first round.

The four-time world champion Selby has won £7.2m in career prize money so far while Brecel has won £1.3m, according to Cuetracker.

Find out the full prize money for the World Championship:

What is the World Snooker Championship prize money?

Can Mark Selby turn this final around?

18:00 , Luke Baker

If anyone can overcome a deficit such as this, it would be Mark Selby - there’s perhaps no player in snooker history as scrappy and determined as the four-time world champion.

But Europsort pundit Alan McManus isn’t convinced that even Selby can come back from the brink this time. Here’s what he had to say

Luca Brecel establishes 15-10 lead over Mark Selby

17:30 , Luke Baker

It was a scintillating performance by Luca Brecel this afternoon as he took six of the eight frames on offer.

Here’s how he won the final, crucial frame of the session to move 15-10 ahead and just three away from victory.

Selby 10-15 Brecel - the evening session awaits

16:55 , Ben Fleming

With the afternoon session done and dusted, the evening session is next and play is set to resume at 7pm BST.

Luca Brecel needs three frames to become World Champion. Mark Selby needs an almighty comeback.

We’ll see you then...

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:53 , Ben Fleming

Luca Brecel rendered Mark Selby’s maximum a distant memory as he fired four centuries to fashion a 15-10 lead after a high-quality penultimate session of their World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible.

Looking utterly undaunted by the biggest occasion of his career, the 28-year-old Belgian moved just three frames away from becoming the first winner of the title from mainland Europe, and the first overseas winner since Neil Robertson in 2010.

Selby had entered the session on a high after Sunday evening’s stunning 147 but it was Brecel who rose to the occasion, blasting three of those hundred breaks in the first four frames as he turned his 9-8 overnight lead into a 13-8 advantage.

Luca Brecel opens up five-frame lead over Mark Selby in World Championship final

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:45 , Ben Fleming

If you’re just joining, then you’ve missed a marvellous afternoon session at The Crucible which leaves Luca Brecel on the verge of his maiden World Championship title.

Six frames out of eight and four century breaks means the Belgian Bullet leads 15-10 against four-time champion Mark Selby in a race to 18.

Having won the opening four frames on the spin, Brecel was pegged back after the mid-session interval with Selby winning back-to-back frames. But the final two frames and session overall belonged to Brecel who won the last two frames in superb style to move ever closer to a shock win.

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:35 , Ben Fleming

Here’s a look at the final few shots of Brecel’s marvellous break in that final frame:

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:26 , Ben Fleming

What is the thinking now if you are Mark Selby? He’s certainly not been at his clinical best but every time ‘The Jester’ has left even the smallest of openings, Brecel has barged through.

The two frames he did win in that afternoon session were long and drawn out those are the kind of situations he may be forced to try and recreate as he attempts to make the Belgian buckle under some kind of pressure.

It’s all set up for an intriguing final session but you feel like Selby has to strike early with a few frames on the spin if he’s to stand a chance against his fearless opponent.

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:17 , Ben Fleming

Truly phenomenal play from Brecel in those final two frames. Selby looked to have clawed his way back into the contest with the first two hard-fought frames after the mid-session interval. Many a player playing in their first World Championship final would have wilted in that position but the Belgian Bullet rose to the occasion. A sterling 119 clearance in the penultimate frame and then some marvellous shotmaking to eke out the final frame.

He will return later this evening needing just three frames to take home the title.

Selby 10-15 Brecel - five-frame lead at the close of the afternoon session

16:12 , Ben Fleming

It does not matter where the balls are on the table, Brecel continues to find a way to get to them all. He splits the two remaining reds expertly and with the blue and pink safely potted, he takes the final frame of the afternoon session.

What a response from the Belgian!

Selby 10-14 Brecel

16:05 , Ben Fleming

Brecel opts for safety with no reds in a good position. A few shots later, Selby misses a good look at a long-range red and the Belgian exerts more pressure as he tucks the white ball up behind the green which currently occupies a position on the black spot. Selbey escapes but leaves an opening for Brecel...and he takes full advantage.

Still plenty of work to do with two reds close together in the middle of the board.

Selby 10-14 Brecel

16:01 , Ben Fleming

Now it’s Selby with the mistake as he misses out on a red using the rest. Brecel makes no mistake before splitting the red pack well off the brown. The score sits at 40-15 with just three reds left on the table.

Selby 10-14 Brecel

15:55 , Ben Fleming

Selby takes advantage with a nice long pot from the Brecel break off but he gets out of position with the white and misses on the yellow as he looks to carve out a position on the reds.

Brecel comes to the table but it’s a solitary red before a terrible miss on a routine black gives the table back to the Englishman.

Selby 10-14 Brecel - fantastic response from Brecel

15:48 , Ben Fleming

Brecel wins his first frame since the break in frankly stupendous style and it’s a fourth century of the afternoon. That break could and probably should have ended at various points with reds in tough positions but shotmaking of the highest order means the Belgian moves four frames clear once again with a 119 clearance. Remarkable.

Selby 10-13 Brecel

15:40 , Ben Fleming

Brecel isn’t fazed at all and takes advantage right off Selby’s break with a long-range pot. A couple more reds are available before an excellent shot on the black ricochets the white into the pack and further splits the pack for the Belgian who is into the 40s.

Selby 10-13 Brecel - back-to-back frames for Selby

15:35 , Ben Fleming

Another long frame and another one that crucially goes the way of Selby. He makes a slight mistake on the pink but Brecel - needing a snooker - pots the pink accidentally trying to set it up.

The gap is back to three now and Selby will believe again - his experience has come to the fore in the last hour, can he now press on and further close the gap?

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:30 , Ben Fleming

Selby completely misses at a long-range red but it’s a great recovery to snooker Brecel with his next effort. The Belgian makes contact with the red on the swerve shot but it ends up right over the top-left pocket. Selby makes no mistake and knocks it in and now should go on to close out this crucial frame.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:24 , Ben Fleming

And now a mistake from Selby. Brecel leaves him in a snooker after an excellent snooker and the Englishman fouls on the black and gives away seven points. He hits it at the second attempt but Brecel is then wayward with a getable opportunity into the top-right corner. Nervy stuff from the pair.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:20 , Ben Fleming

Selby does well to leave just one reds with a break of 54. He leaves Brecel with a tricky shot into the final red but it’s a superb swerve shot from the Belgian to escape a tricky position. Finally poised on the final red in this frame.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:14 , Ben Fleming

Brecel is afforded an opportunity on a red but can’t take advantage and it is Selby now who forces his way back into the frame with a well-judged pot up into the left-middle pocket. Still plenty of work to do for ‘The Jester’ to win the frame from this point, however.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:08 , Ben Fleming

An early miss from Selby in the day’s sixth frame gives Brecel an early opener to this frame. He splits the pack well but runs out of options and has to settle with an opening break of 41 with the white ball safely tucked away on the far side of the table.

Selby 9-13 Brecel - Selby claws one back

15:00 , Ben Fleming

Brecel can’t find another snooker and Selby is eventually able to pot the final red and win his first frame of the day. It’s the longest frame of today’s action but a much-needed one for ‘The Jester’. He has the experience over Brecel in games like these and taking him into the deep waters with those longer, mentally-taxing frames may well be the way he needs to go to exert some pressure on the Belgian Bullet.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:57 , Ben Fleming

Brecel makes another small mistake and this time it’s Selby who successfully snookers the Belgian. With the penalty, it’s Brecel, once again, who needs a snooker on the final red to be able to win the frame.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:54 , Ben Fleming

This frame is getting very edgy. Brecel leaves Selby with two looks at the final red but the Englishman can’t take advantage - the battle goes on...

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:51 , Ben Fleming

Brecel had plenty to do but he has worked his way back into this frame superbly. He clears all bar one of the reds and now Selby has to escape a snooker...and he can’t! A massive moment and Brecel now has enough points left on the table to win the frame.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:43 , Ben Fleming

A slight mistake in positioning on the black means Selby can’t get at another red easily. He tries to spin the white ball back down off the brown and into a pack of reds but to no avail. He settles for a break of 63 but he’s given another opportunity immediately by Brecel and makes no mistake with a sumptuous long pot and further extends his lead to 68. A snooker required by Brecel now...

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:39 , Ben Fleming

Selby needs to start well...and he does with a nice pot. He gets a tad unfortunate as he tries to split the red pack but it’s an excellent pot up into the left middle pocket to keep this break going as he enters the 50s.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:31 , Ben Fleming

The players are back out and Selby gets us underway in the second half of this afternoon session.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:26 , Ben Fleming

Some highlights from Luca’s third century of that mini-session:

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:16 , Ben Fleming

It’s time for the mid-session interval and it probably can’t come quickly enough for Mark Selby. He has to come out fighting after this break and get some frames on the board. He’s not played badly by any stretch but every small mistake he has made has been clinically punished by his opponent.

Brecel couldn’t have dreamt of a better start and he is now just five frames away from the title - he’s in a commanding position and perfectly set to press home his advantage before the evening session.

Selby 8-13 Brecel - four on the trot for the Belgian Bullet

14:13 , Ben Fleming

It looked ominous and it’s now fatal for Selby. Brecel looks like he’s having the time of his life out there and he cleans up the board after that mistake from ‘The Jester’. It’s a 141 break from the Belgian and he’s taken all four frames of this afternoon’s session.

Selby 8-12 Brecel

14:05 , Ben Fleming

Selby is the four-time champion but he’s the one looking nervy up on the big stage. Just like in the second frame, the Englishman misses a long effort on the opening red. The blue comes to his rescue to cover that red but Brecel has other options and it’s another fine cut-back pot into the bottom-left pocket.

The Belgian manages to split the pack of reds as well and he races into an ominous 40-point lead.

Selby 8-12 Brecel - Luca on the charge

14:00 , Ben Fleming

Wow, wow, wow. Scintillating stuff from the Brecel. He plots his way around the table but leaves himself with work to do on the final red. A double into the middle pocket to win the frame? No problem.

The Belgian clears up the rest of the colours for yet another century break and he now has a four-frame lead having won all three of the frames his morning.

Selby 8-11 Brecel

13:52 , Ben Fleming

Ooooh, how big could that be? Selby looks to split the pack of reds and leaves himself an awkward pot up the table into the left middle pocket. It bounces off both corners but doesn’t drop and Brecel is back to the table. Selby has a lead of 35 but there is plenty of available reds for the Belgian to work with here.

Selby 8-11 Brecel

13:48 , Ben Fleming

Brecel leaves his safety a bit short of pace and Selby takes full advantage with a fantastic long red effort. There’s no colour available so he tucks it in behind the yellow.

Brecel tries to escape but he misses the red behind the pack and it sets up invitingly for Selby to get a break going as he races into a 20-point lead in this frame.

Selby 8-11 Brecel - three-frame lead for Luca

13:42 , Ben Fleming

Brecel misses the pink but with a deficit of 72, Selby concedes the frame and the Belgian takes the first two frames of the day. What a start from the 28-year-old.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:39 , Ben Fleming

Selby thinks he’s left a good safety with the ball nicely placed on the back cushion but it’s no problem for Brecel with a stupendous cut-back red into the bottom right pocket as he extends his lead into the sixties.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:35 , Ben Fleming

A couple of nice pots on some more reds but Brecel is unable to create the required position to set up another red and he opts for the safety shot and a break of 43.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:30 , Ben Fleming

Selby just misses an early attempt on a red into the bottom right pocket and it leaves it in the jaw for Brecel to take advantage. There are a few open reds but the pack isn’t split a lot at this stage so the Belgian will have work to do to build a frame-winning break.

Selby 8-10 Brecel - Luca takes the opening frame

13:27 , Ben Fleming

If there were signs of nerves in his opening few shots then the Belgian has banished them in style to take the opening frame today. A break of 113 full of his typical shotmaking excellence and typified with a quadruple on the final red. Selby cuts a frustrated figure in the seat but nothing should surprise him - Brecel has been playing like this all tournament long.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:19 , Ben Fleming

The first mistake comes from the cue of Brecel as he looks to play a safety off the pack. Selby begins to set about building a solid first break but an uncharacteristic mistake from him means it’s just one of 24 and gives Brecel a way back into this frame.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:13 , Ben Fleming

The players are out on the table and Selby gets us underway for the third and penultimate session.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:09 , Ben Fleming

The TV coverage is underway and we are just moments away from the two finalists resuming this enthralling final. Luca Brecel, who had not won a single match at the crucible prior to this year, stormed into an early 6-2 lead after the opening session.

But a consummate and experienced evening session from four-time champion Mark Selby - capped off by a historic first 147 break in the World Championship final - means the deficit is just one frame as we enter the third of four sessions.

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, we aren’t too far away from the resumption in Sheffield. You’d expect Luca Brecel to continue attacking this afternoon, trying to punch back at Selby after letting his lead slip a little late last night.

Kyren Wilson reacts to Mark Selby’s maximum

12:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another man who might not have been so pleased to watch Mark Selby roll in that final black was Kyren Wilson, whose own 147 in his first round match against Ryan Day is now slightly less financially beneficial.

Jimmy White thinks Luca Brecel is ‘bang in trouble’ after Mark Selby’s 147

12:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jimmy White, joined in the Crucible 147 club by Mark Selby yesterday, fears for Luca Brecel after the way things ended last night. “He’s firing on all cylinders now,” White said on Eurosport of Selby’s late rally to move back within a single frame of his opponent. “He nearly made that last black to try and hold for the yellow, and it was almost an impossible shot.

“The shackles are off with him. Okay, he may have been a bit tired in the morning, but the type of game that Luca plays, he thought that I’d have to start attacking and all of a sudden now his A-game is there.“He’s always going to have his tactical side, and is always going to have the right shot selection. But now he’s scoring, and that fabulous 147. Luca is one frame in front, but is bang in trouble I’m afraid.”

Mark Selby trails Luca Brecel 9-8 (Getty Images)
Mark Selby trails Luca Brecel 9-8 (Getty Images)

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

However well Brecel played to establish that significant early advantage yesterday, the Belgian might still have room for improvement - his 99 in frame ten is his best break of the match so far, and we know what a brilliant scorer the 28-year-old is. He will have been frustrated not to take the final frame last night, but the overnight break may have come at a good time to allow him to reset.

Mark Selby joins illustrious group of Crucible maximum makers

12:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Mark Selby’s 147 yesterday was the 14th in World Championship history, following on quickly from Kyren Wilson’s own perfect clearance earlier in this year’s tournament. Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry have tallied three each, with Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White, Mark Williams, Ali Carter, John Higgins and Neil Robertson the other Crucible maximum makers.

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

As a reminder, 18 frames are needed for victory in this best of 35 encounter, with two separate sessions today starting at 1pm and 7pm BST. Both Brecel and Selby have played a lot of snooker over the last fortnight - the Englishman did look fatigued at times yesterday but an extra night of rest should have done him some good. You’d fancy this to go deep into the evening...

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We’ve still got an hour or so before our last two remaining potters are back on the baize. This match really is wonderfully poised. Luca Brecel will have been disappointed not to take more of a lead through to today, but the Belgian has shown few nerves as he experiences snooker’s biggest stage for the first time. It is extraordinary, really, that he’d never won a match at the Crucible before this year’s tournament.

Luca Brecel leads 9-8 as he chases a first world title (PA)
Luca Brecel leads 9-8 as he chases a first world title (PA)

Watch Mark Selby’s historic 147

12:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And here is Mark Selby’s 147 in full glory, with Eurosport kindly clipping together every shot in rapid fire fashion. Selby may not always dazzle in the way that some of snooker’s other stars can, but this was a sparkling display of supreme skill just when he neeeded it most.

Mark Selby’s historic 147 overshadows Luca Brecel’s bold snooker in tight World Championship final

11:58 , Luke Baker

It was almost impossible to imagine how Luca Brecel’s brand of thrill-seeking snooker could be overshadowed by the end of the opening day of this wild World Championship final, but Mark Selby managed it, writes Lawrence Ostlere.

Selby came to the table 9-6 down, eyeing a simple red; 10 minutes later he was walking towards the last black with a grin in the direction of his wife and daughter sitting up in the gods; they were watching a break from the gods, and once he completed the 147, the tension in the room melted away.

The crowd howled in appreciation as Brecel embraced his opponent with a big hug. The referee, Brendan Moore, took off one of his white gloves and shook Selby by the hand – this will be Moore’s last ever match and it is some occasion to go out on, overseeing the first ever maximum break in a Crucible final. Selby enjoyed the moment, throwing up his arms to raise the crowd’s volume like a rock star on stage.

Like all 147s, it had bubbled under the surface at first, awareness spreading gradually and then taking hold once the frame was secure. He left the most awkward red until last, nestling the cue ball close on the side cushion before rolling it into the corner with the help of the rest. Then it was about keeping his nerve, and we know Selby has plenty of that.

Read Lawrence Ostlere’s full report from a fascinating opening day of the final:

Mark Selby’s historic 147 overshadows Luca Brecel’s bold snooker in tight final

World Snooker Championship final

11:55 , Luke Baker

Welcome back to The Independent’s coverage of the 2023 World Snooker Championship final between Mark Selby and Luca Brecel.

Selby made history on Sunday evening with the first-ever maximum 147 break in the world final but he trails Brecel 9-8 overnight in the race to 18 frames.

It promises to be a fascinating Monday at the Crucible, so stick with us for full live coverage.

Mark Selby hits first ever 147 in World Snooker Championship final

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:35 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby hit the first ever 147 in a World Snooker Championship final as he cleared the table in his battle against Luca Brecel.

Brecel left a red over the corner pocket and Selby obliged, stepping up and going on to make the maximum. The balls were well spread but the four-time world champion still needed to carefully navigate the final red near the side cushion, and left the cue ball behind it before potting with the rest.

He stuck out his tongue to his wife and daughter watching on as he walked around the table to the final black, before nervelessly potting to make history. Brecel embraced his opponent while the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Mark Selby hits first ever 147 in World Snooker Championship final

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:28 , Mike Jones

 (PA)
(PA)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:23 , Mike Jones

That’s the end of the evening session today. Mark Selby took it six frames to three to get right back into this World Championship final.

Luca Brecel still leads by one but Mark Selby is the hero of the night. His 147 was absolutely fantastic and a true sign of a four-time world champion.

What a finale we’re in for tomorrow.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:21 , Mike Jones

Just the colours left and Brecel’s safety play is letting him down. He leaves the yellow on for Selby who rolls it into the middle left followed by the green to the top right.

The brown and blue quickly follow to secure the frame for Selby!

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:18 , Mike Jones

Selby leaves Brecel with a difficult snooker to escape from and the Belgian does his best but leaves the cueball on for the last red of the frame.

Selby pots it and the black then plays another snooker to cover the yellow.

Selby now leads 51-48.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:15 , Mike Jones

Luca Brecel is annoyed after a potential safety shot doesn’t finish behind the green as intended. The opens up the table for Mark Selby who racks up an impressive break of 42.

He trails by five but doesn’t have an angle on the last red so has to leave it safe.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:04 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby’s play has just put Luca Brecel on the back foot and a few simple mistakes from the Belgian has let Selby back into the match.

Brecel does it again after a composed break of 48. A slight miscue leaves the red on to the bottom left and Selby rolls it in. The cueball flies wildly to the opposite pocket and hovers over the edge.

There’s no follow up colour for Selby. Brecel leads 48-1.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:02 , Mike Jones

 (PA)
(PA)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:58 , Mike Jones

That was a wonderful break from Mark Selby and he plays with the cheering crowd as the table is reset. It’s the second 147 maxmium of the tournament and Selby’s first ever at the Crucible.

What a time to get it too.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:55 , Mike Jones

Fan-dabby-dozy! Take a bow Mark Selby, that is spectacular.

With the pressure on, trailing in the World Championship final and a tricky table to navigate, Selby gets his 147!

Luca Brecel is amazed too, he stands up and gives Selby a hug. A maxium break!

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 6-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:51 , Mike Jones

There’s a tense moment when Mark Selby needs a final red to force snookers from Luca Brecel. His shot is from the middle of the table and takes the red into the bottom left.

When he hits it the line looks slightly off but the pace on the ball is perfect and the red hits the corner of the pocket before dropping.

Selby’s secured the frame and is on for a 147.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 6-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:45 , Mike Jones

Luca Brecel goes down the table and leaves a red hovering over the bottom left pocket. Mark Selby has another chance to break but the majority of the reds are clustered and he’ll have to open them up before thinking about winning the frame.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 6-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:39 , Mike Jones

Selby is back in it. He notches up a break of 61 to claim the 15th frame and move back within three of the Belgian. The closer Selby can get before this session is over the better off he’ll be for tomorrow’s play.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:34 , Mike Jones

After a series of safety shots a slight error in line from Brecel leaves Selby with a soft pot into the middle right which he nicely rolls in.

The reds are spread with the pink and black both accessible. Big chance for Selby here.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:28 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby has made a few shots as this session has gone on that aren’t like him at all. Too often he’s left the cueball out of position or missed his safety.

A break of 15 ends after he cannons into the yellow and leaves a long red for Luca Brecel. Selby could do with picking up this frame, he needs to halt Brecel’s momentum.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:21 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby stays in his seat. Luca Brecel takes another frame with a fantastic, and at times tricky, break of 67. The Belgian opens up a lead of four on Selby.

He’s halfway to the required 18 frames to win the title.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-8 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:16 , Mike Jones

A slight opening appears with a tricky red to the top right and Brecel - like he has done all tournament - takes advantage. A break of 19 follows to draw he level with Selby but the cueball is nestled right up alongside a red on the left cushion.

Brecel has a chance to continue the break and plays a perfectly weighted shot across the table to roll the next red into the middle right.

Great shot! This is Brecel’s frame to lose now.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-8 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:06 , Mike Jones

Brecel’s mistake leaves Selby in control but he can only tally up a break of 18 before a getting a thin slice on his red to the bottom right and leaving it in play.

The red isn’t pottable though and Brecel has to play safe.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-8 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:01 , Mike Jones

Unfortunate.

A long shot to the bottom left pocket from Brecel sees the red bounce around the table, hit the green and knocks the colour into the top right pocket.

Selby is given four points and a clear shot on the loose red.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-8 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:57 , Mike Jones

Brecel wins the frame! A break of 72 is enough for the Belgian to restore his three frame lead in the final.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:55 , Mike Jones

Good work from Brecel.

He leaves himself out of position after potting a blue but gets out of trouble and increases his lead.

The way the reds have fallen though he’s been forced to play mainly off the blue and the pink. The black has been hidden for most of the frame.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:49 , Mike Jones

That’s a good shot from Luca Brecel.

Mark Selby gets on the board but can only notch up a break of four. Brecel then goes to the middle right pocket and drops a tight red into the slot.

How big can he get this break?

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:43 , Mike Jones

Luca Brecel breaks off for the 13th frame. He leaves Mark Selby on the top cushion and his only option is a containment safety. The start of this frame is a tactical affair.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:35 , Mike Jones

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World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:30 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby won that mini session 3-1 and is back into this match.

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World Snooker Championship final: Selby 5-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:25 , Mike Jones

The yellow drops, as does a tricky green which leaves Selby perfectly on the brown. The only other difficult shot is a medium length blue into the bottom right.

He gets it! The pink follows and Selby takes the frame.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:22 , Mike Jones

Now then.

Selby manages to slip the red into the middle right and follows it up with the blue. He trails by three with all the colours remaining. Can he clean up from here?

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:19 , Mike Jones

This frame is going to come down to the final red. Luca Brecel hasn’t had a chance to pot it so plays safe leaving Selby with a long shot down the table.

The red comes off the bottom cushion and leaves Brecel with a pot to the middle left.

He misses it!

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:17 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby’s march towards winning the frame takes a hit after a ricochet from the left cushion knocks the final red into the cushion on the opposite side.

His break of 40 ends when Selby tries to flick the red and misses it. The cueball bounces off the cushion and clips the black for a foul of seven too.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:12 , Mike Jones

It’s wonderful watching Luca Brecel play. An aggressive shot from the bottom sees him slot a red into the middle right before the cueball dances around the table and leaves set up on the black.

A follow up slice into the bottom left pocekt doesn’t drop though and the door is open for Mark Selby to nick the frame.

Brecel leads 43-1.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:06 , Mike Jones

That’s unlucky. Breaking the reds was always going to be the trickiest part of Brecel’s trip to the table. He cannons into them from the right cushion but the cueball hits the pink and stays flush to the colour leaving nothing on.

Brecel plays safe after break of 34.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:03 , Mike Jones

Oh that’s a mistake from Mark Selby. He has a long pot to the bottom right but catches the red thinly and sees it lip out of the pocket.

That leaves Luca Brecel with a couple of options to go at. There are a few tricky reds in play though so this will take some thinking through from the Belgian.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 4-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 20:00 , Lawrence Ostlere

Selby does indeed take his chance, putting on 96 before missing a double on the green to fall just short of another century. Selby is scoring much better this evening already, and the brown he put away halfway through this frame, with the cue ball tight against the cushion, was exceptional. The gap is down to three once more.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 3-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 19:49 , Lawrence Ostlere

Brecel begins frame 11 with some more outrageous potting but then misses a relatively simple red and sits back down with only 12 points on the board. It’s still early days in this best-of-35 final, but the balls are well set and Selby could do with taking opportunities like this one.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 3-7 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 19:43 , Lawrence Ostlere

Brecel bounces back quickly though, and with his next opportunity he racks up an audacious, thrilling century break – probably the most entertaining break of the entire championship so far. Exhibition pots with the cue ball flying around the table, and all done with such nonchalance. Wow.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 3-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 19:35 , Lawrence Ostlere

A bizarre moment disrupts Brecel’s break in this 10th frame: he sends a red rolling gently towards the middle pocket and begins walking around the table for his next shot, but the red veers with the nap of the table and somehow misses by a distance. Brecel is stunned, and Selby comes to the table only 27 points behind.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 3-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 19:25 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby starts the evening session in the best possible way. A century break sees him set a marker for the session to come and moves the world no. 2 within three frames of the Belgian.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 2-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 19:21 , Lawrence Ostlere

An excellent start by Mark Selby, who immediately racks up a half-century to close in on this first frame of the evening session in double quick time. Just a couple more reds needed...

Watch: Luca Brecel’s fine blue decides tight sixth frame

Sunday 30 April 2023 18:54 , Lawrence Ostlere

This was one of the crucial moments of the opening session earlier today: at 4-1 up, Brecel came out on top of this safety exchange with a delicate cut of the blue to clinch it and take a four-frame lead. The pot looked almost impossible but he made the angle work:

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 2-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 18:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

Good evening and thank you for joining us – the World Snooker Championship final resumes shortly at the Crucible Theatre. The first finallist from mainland Europe, Luca Brecel, leads the four-time champion Mark Selby 6-2 after making a blistering start earlier today.

Summary: Luca Brecel dominates opening session against Mark Selby

Sunday 30 April 2023 17:34 , Lawrence Ostlere

Comeback king Luca Brecel revelled in his new role as a front-runner after dominating the opening session of the World Snooker Championship final against four-time winner Mark Selby at the Crucible.

The Belgian, who reeled off seven straight frames to sink Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight and then 11 in a row to overcome Si Jiahui, continued his exhilarating progress as he soared into a 6-2 lead ahead of their resumption later on Sunday.

Full report on the afternoon session:

Luca Brecel dominates opening session of Crucible final against Mark Selby

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 2-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 16:11 , Lawrence Ostlere

That’s a phenomenal first session by Luca Brecel. He has made this World Championship final look like he’s playing in his local club, performing with almost reckless abandon at times, and right now Selby has no answer to his opponent’s potting prowess.

Mark Selby takes on a pot as Luca Brecel watches on (PA)
Mark Selby takes on a pot as Luca Brecel watches on (PA)
Brecel at the table during the World Championship final (PA)
Brecel at the table during the World Championship final (PA)
Selby contemplates a shot during the opening session (PA)
Selby contemplates a shot during the opening session (PA)

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 2-6 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 15:58 , Lawrence Ostlere

So smooth and composed by Brecel, who manoeuvres the white around the table with apparent ease to take the frame as Selby watches on. Brecel will take a four-frame lead into tonight’s second session.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 2-5 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 15:53 , Lawrence Ostlere

Selby gets the first few points on the board before missing a tricky red, and now Brecel is at the table. He pots red and black, then goes up the table to baulk to sweep up a couple of reds which ran loose. A good start, and this is a real chance.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website