20 february 2021 publish date

Brown's breakthrough. QF Welsh Open 2021

Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown got the better of a black ball fight in the decider to edge three-time World Champion Mark Selby 5-4 at the BetVictor Welsh Open.

The epic three hour and 48 minute match came all the way down to the final ball in the final frame. Eventually Brown left it at the mercy of Selby to the right middle pocket, but the Leicester cueman missed his chance.

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Brown then thumped in a regulation pot to the top left pocket and punched the air with joy. The dramatic victory sealed Brown a first ranking event semi-final place of his career.

He’ll face Stephen Maguire in the last four. Whoever wins between Brown and Maguire will be guaranteed a spot in the top 16 of the one-year list to qualify for next week’s Cazoo Players Championship.

World number 81 Brown qualified for a maiden Crucible appearance at last year’s World Championship, in doing so he saved his professional status and avoided a trip to Q School.

Defeat for Selby leaves him £6,500 behind Judd Trump in the BetVictor Series with only the BetVictor Gibraltar Open to go. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the six event series will pick up a lucrative £150,000 bonus.

Brown made breaks of 105, 55 and 63 on his way to establishing a 3-1 advantage at the mid-session. When they returned Selby required two snookers and got them to steal the fifth frame, before firing in a break of 97 to draw level at 3-3. They then traded frames as the match went to the most dramatic of deciders, where Brown sealed the tie.

“I’m over the moon. Years of hard work have finally come off just for this one moment,” said 33-year-old Brown. “I know it’s not over yet. I’ve got a semi-final to look forward to tomorrow. For now, to finally prove myself against one of the top players, I feel like I’ve achieved massive things today.

“He is hard as nails. He makes things so hard for you. He is just granite. I was aware of his reputation, but all I had to concentrate on was myself and I feel like I handled it pretty well there.

“I’ve always believed in myself. Coming into this season, off the back of the Crucible, it was important for me to carry on and make sure that was no fluke. I’ve been very consistent and it is finally all coming together.”

Tour Champion Maguire booked his place in the last four with a 5-4 defeat of defending Welsh Open champion Shaun Murphy.

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Maguire fired in breaks of 105, 84, 55, 90 and 133 on his way to victory. Defeat for Murphy ends his hopes of qualifying for the Players Championship.

Welsh three-time World Champion Mark Williams came through a thrilling clash with Tom Ford 5-4 to reach the semi-finals.

Williams is a two-time winner of the event and the only Welsh player ever to claim the title. He last lifted the trophy back in 1999.

Victory this evening sees Williams qualify for the Players Championship, ending Ford’s hopes of clinching a spot. However, Williams’ immediate focus is a semi-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan tomorrow evening.

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The day’s other quarter-final was cancelled after Ali Carter withdrew due to illness. As a result, O’Sullivan received a bye through to the semi-finals.

The article is based on WST.TV