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Mark Selby leads Ronnie O'Sullivan ahead of World Snooker Championship final session

Selby took advantage of some uncharacteristic mistakes from the Rocket.

Ronnie O'Sullivan leaves the arena as Mark Selby celebrates winning the final frame of the afternoon session.
Ronnie O'Sullivan leaves the arena as Mark Selby celebrates winning the final frame of the afternoon session.
Image: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DEFENDING CHAMPION RONNIE O’Sullivan is looking to become just the fifth player to trail going into the final session in a World Snooker Championship final and emerge victorious as he trails Mark Selby after a dramatic afternoon at the Crucible.

Selby, who had trailed 10-7 overnight, took five of the afternoon’s six frames as nerves seemed to impact both players in Sheffield.

The 30-year old from Leicester rattled off breaks of 55, 52 and 74 in the first three frames to level the game and took the lead for the first time in the 21st frame despite O’Sullivan having chances of his own.

After a mid-session break in which the defending champion is reported to have consulted with sports psychologist Steve Peters, O’Sullivan won his first frame in seven attempts despite a number of uncharacteristic errors.

Those mistakes were to prove more costly in the afternoon’s final frame – which lasted 50 minutes – when the five-time champion missed the most routine of pinks to gift Selby a 12-11 lead.

If O’Sullivan is to lift a sixth world crown this year, he must join Shaun Murphy (2005), Mark Williams (2000), Stephen Hendry (1992) and Denis Taylor (1985) in coming from behind in the final session to do so.

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Steve O'Rourke

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