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Supreme Mark Selby scoops second UK Championship crown

Selby poses with the trophy (credit:BBC Sport)

Mark Selby denied rival Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-7 in an epic final to clinch his second UK Championship title at the York Barbican on Sunday.

The world number one followed up his World Championship triumph earlier this year by edging a scintillating contest which featured six century breaks.

Selby looked to be coasting to victory after opening up a 7-2 lead, only for O'Sullivan to reel off six of the next seven frames to hit back to within one of the Leicester ace.

Selby, though, emphatically closed out victory with back-to-back centuries to seal the £170,000 top prize and join an elite group of players to have picked up both the World and UK titles in the same calendar year.

"It's a fantastic feeling," said Selby. "I knew I had to be at the top of my game today.

"To play Ronnie in any match, not just a major final, is always a great atmosphere that gives you a buzz and makes you want to play well.

"In my eyes, him and Stephen Hendry are still two of the greatest players ever to play the game."

O'Sullivan established a 2-1 lead but left himself with a mountain to climb at 6-2 down following the first session; however, he produced some of his vintage best in a gripping climax in the evening.

A gracious O'Sullivan declared: "I just want to say well done to Mark. He played well all week, fantastic today and deserved his victory.

"I've had a great week, It's been like an all expenses paid holiday for me! I've been at home seven days since September.

"I scored alright but I just missed too many easy balls and you can't afford to do that," he added.

O'Sullivan began the final in dream fashion by producing a break of 124 to clinch the opening frame, and after Selby had levelled, 'The Rocket' made a 63 to edge back ahead.

It was one-way traffic for the remainder of the first session, however, as Selby made successive breaks of 67 and 63 and edged a close-run sixth frame to lead 4-2.

Runs of 51 and 58 handed 'The Jester' the seventh frame, before a clinical 87 made it 6-2 heading into the interval.

Selby sustained the momentum after the restart with a 56 to increase his foothold, before crowd favourite O'Sullivan finally stopped the rot courtesy of a top break of 80 in frame ten.

That began a sequence of three consecutive frames for the five-time World Champion, including a brilliant clearance of 134 to close the gap to just 7-5 behind.

Selby responded superbly with a total clearance of 137, but only for O'Sullivan to return with another ton - this time a 130 - to re-apply the pressure.

A break of 82 in frame 15 saw O'Sullivan reduce the deficit to just 8-7, but majestic breaks of 134 and 107 saw Selby over the line in fairy-tale fashion.

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Supreme Mark Selby scoops second UK Championship crown

Mark Selby denied rival Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-7 in an epic final to clinch his second UK Championship title at the York Barbican on Sunday.

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