Ryan Day collected the Clive Everton Trophy after a 10-7 triumph over Mark Allen in Sunday’s British Open final.
The Welshman secured the biggest title of his career at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, pocketing a cool £100,000 champion’s cheque.
Day had been an overwhelming underdog heading into the title-deciding contest given the two finalists’ respective levels of form this week.
While Allen had starred in standout victories over Judd Trump and Mark Selby, Day had scrambled his way through the rounds despite a string of below-par performances.
The 42 year-old would have known that two things were required in order for him to have a chance of glory – his game had to improve and Allen’s stellar standard needed to decline.
Both materialised, and despite the latter beginning the clash with a terrific ton, Allen couldn’t replicate the seamless scoring that he produced against Noppon Saengkham in the last four.
By contrast, Day looked sharper in among the balls, and breaks of 77, 73, 54, and a pair of 58s helped him to share the first eight frames from the first session.
The runaway triumph for Allen that many predicted before the fixture was off the table, and instead the outcome was determined by who could hold his nerve the best with the winning line in sight.
Allen, hoping to capture a seventh career ranking title, managed to keep his nose in front early on during the second session of play.
The Pistol led by one on three occasions but each time was pegged back, and it was when he was 7-6 in front that the final ultimately turned on its head.
Day shifted through the gears with a timely string of frame-winning contributions – a 74 to level again at 7-7 before runs of 70 and 84 helped him move to within one frame of success.
Allen had opportunities to keep the match alive but by now looked a spent force, and Day duly won the 17th frame to receive the Clive Everton Trophy.
It represents Day’s fourth ranking title but undoubtedly his biggest following priors wins in the Riga Masters, Gibraltar Open, and the Snooker Shoot Out.
This is the first time that he has prevailed in a two-session final, while he also earns the biggest payday of his long career.
An added bonus is the fact that Day will return to the top 16 in the official world rankings list for the first time since 2019.
The player known as Dynamite will be invited to compete in the lucrative Champion of Champions later this year as well.
An unexpected ending to an unpredictable week of snooker at the British Open then, but one that will live long in the memory of Ryan Day.
Featured photo credit: WST
Day’s exceptional long potting was another factor in separating himself from Allen. He’s always had a top notch A-game but seems to go through extended dips in his career that see him drop more considerably in the rankings than say a Joe Perry who has often hovered between 10 and 20 on the ranking list.
One area for improvement on his CV now is his performances in triple crown events. He’s only ever made one semi-final. That record doesn’t seem commensurate with a player that now has four ranking titles and has compiled over 400 centuries (14th on all-time list).