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Snooker champ Mark Selby shines in Weymouth
WORLD number one Mark Selby put on a show to remember in Weymouth on Saturday night with a scintillating display of snooker in front of a bumper crowd at Snookes.
Club owner Mark Cottingham hailed the exhibition a resounding success after reigning Masters and UK champion Selby compiled four centuries in as many frames and five in all.
Selby, who faces Steve Davis in the first round of the Welsh Open today, showed exactly why he is currently ranked the best player on the planet as he took on 10 challengers in one-frame shoot-outs.
One of those was Echo competition winner Barry Webb, who despite losing 97-26, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gave Selby a few problems on the baize.
“I gave him a few snookers to think about,” he said. “But he got out of them and showed why he is who he is.
“He was a really nice guy and it was an excellent experience which gave me some good memories.”
The closest anyone managed to get to Selby on the night was Darren Bulston.
Before his frame, which he lost 79-43, he was presented by Selby with a snooker-themed birthday cake two days ahead of his 40th.
And after the session of snooker had ended, the ‘Jester from Leicester’, as he known on the circuit, answered questions from the 140-plus crowd and then took part in more games which took the event into the early hours of Sunday morning.
“It was a privilege to have Mark here,” said Cottingham. “People couldn’t fail to be entertained with the way he played.
“He was absolutely fantastic in the first four frames and hit four centuries back-to-back.
“Everyone went home happy and not one person came up to me at the end and said they were disappointed.
“Mark loved it down here too and he talked about possibly coming back in the future to do a charity night which would be great.”
Pro referee Michaela Tabb was forced to miss out last night due to illness so Geoff Scott was on hand to oversee the matches and keep a tally of Selby’s big breaks.