Brendan Moore had a birds-eye view as Mark Selby created history with a 147 break in the World Snooker Championship final on Sunday.
The popular referee from Sheffield is officiating his last match on the World Snooker Tour, and he couldn’t have been granted a much better send off at the Crucible Theatre.
During the 16th frame of what could turn into a classic World Championship title decider against Luca Brecel, Selby constructed the perfect break.
The four-time world champion was never badly out of position as he potted the 15 red-black combinations before confidently sinking the six colours.
Selby rightfully then turned to accept the rapturous applause from the crowd and shared an embrace with both his opponent and local man Moore.
“What an unbelievable first day’s play that was,” Moore wrote on Twitter shortly after the conclusion of the second of four sessions.
“Both players playing some great stuff. And obviously topped off with Mark Selby making the first 147 in a Crucible final.”
“(I) don’t know about him, but I’m still buzzing from it. Can’t wait for tomorrow, it’ll be a classic.”
It represents the first 147 break compiled in a World Snooker Championship final and just the 14th ever at the Crucible Theatre.
147 breaks at the Crucible Theatre
1. 1983: Cliff Thorburn vs Terry Griffiths (L16)
2. 1992: Jimmy White vs Tony Drago (L32)
3. 1995: Stephen Hendry vs Jimmy White (SF)
4. 1997: Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Mick Price (L32)
5. 2003: Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Marco Fu (L32)
6. 2005: Mark Williams vs Robert Milkins (L32)
7. 2008: Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Mark Williams (L16)
8. 2008: Ali Carter vs Peter Ebdon (QF)
9. 2009: Stephen Hendry vs Shaun Murphy (QF)
10. 2012: Stephen Hendry vs Stuart Bingham (L32)
11. 2020: John Higgins vs Kurt Maflin (L16)
12. 2022: Neil Robertson vs Jack Lisowski (L16)
13. 2023: Kyren Wilson vs Ryan Day (L32)
14. 2023: Mark Selby vs Luca Brecel (F)
Selby joins Kyren Wilson at the top of the high-break charts for the 2023 tournament following the Kettering cueist’s similar contribution earlier in the competition.
The pair will now share the £55,000 bonus – a £40,000 jackpot for compiling the 147 and an additional £15,000 for the high break prize.
It had already been an entertaining opening to a final that is delicately poised heading into Monday’s last day.
Brecel showed few signs of nerves in what was the biggest occasion of his career so far when he brilliantly orchestrated a 6-2 advantage in the first session.
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Selby, whose semi-final clash with Mark Allen concluded close to 1am in the small hours of Sunday morning, appeared sluggish early on but was galvanised after making a century to begin the second session of play.
As is his trademark move, the 39 year-old subsequently clawed his way back into the contest and stands just one adrift overnight – the Belgian Bullet leading 9-8.
There is a running joke among snooker players and fans that Moore seems to officiate more deciding frames than any other referee on the circuit.
There hasn’t been a 35th frame required at the Crucible since Peter Ebdon denied Stephen Hendry an eighth world crown in an 18-17 thriller all the way back in 2002.
This encounter between Selby and Brecel has the hallmark of one that could potentially last the distance and deliver the ultimate dramatic climax to this year’s World Championship.
For the full World Snooker Championship draw, results, live scores, and session times, click here.
Featured photo credit: WST