Snooker: Mark Selby beats Shaun Murphy in UK Championship 2012
MARK Selby ended a difficult year back on top of the world rankings and with a first UK Championship title to his name last night, with victory over close friend Shaun Murphy in York.
The man they call the Jester from Leicester beat world no.4 Murphy 10-6 at the Barbican to pick up the £125,000 winner's cheque, rattling off the final four frames following a close battle in which the lead was constantly shared up to 6-6.
But Selby, whose semi-final win over Mark Davis saw him return to world no.1 just over a month after being replaced there by Judd Trump, was the stronger player in the final four frames to claim his third major ranking title.
After a serious neck injury put paid to his hopes in the World Championship earlier this year, subsequently leading to a loss of form and confidence, it was a win the 29-year-old was keen to savour.
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"It means a great deal to me, it is a special and really proud moment," he said.
"I missed too many easy balls and I'm not happy with that but I am sat here as the UK Championship winner and I know I can still improve. This is my finest hour so far but hopefully I can kick on from this.
"I had doubts whether I would be able to play snooker again because of the injury, but I have done. Losing confidence was a big blow but I am getting that back now and I have to take a lot of confidence from this."
*British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky (410/411) and Virgin Media (521/525) or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk