Rocket Flies to Maximum
Rocket Flies To Magical Maximum
By Mark Rawlinson
It’s the 109th official maximum in snooker history.
O’Sullivan has now made a record 13. Stephen Hendry has had 11.
The Rocket’s 12th came at the Welsh Open in March, in the last frame of the final.
He will win a £40,000 bonus from the rolling 147 prize pot, plus the £4,000 high break prize. However if someone else makes one during the Coral UK Championship, the prizes will be shared.
It’s the fourth 147 of the season. Aditya Mehta, Ryan Day and Shaun Murphy made the others.
It’s the third consecutive year that a 147 has been made in the final stages here in York. John Higgins made one in 2012 and Mark Selby last year.
O’Sullivan created another piece of snooker gold as he hit a brilliant maximum break in the final frame, bringing the York Barbican crowd to their feet.
The Rocket dominated the match from start to finish to secure his place in the quarter-finals, against Anthony McGill on Friday afternoon.
In the last frame, he had the reds open early in the break and cleared the 15 reds with blacks with little trouble. With the adrenaline pumping, the four-time UK Champion almost over-cut the blue to a middle pocket, but it just dropped in after hitting the jaw. Firing the pink into the middle and screwing back for the black, O’Sullivan gave a fist pump before sinking the black to send the near-capacity crowd into raptures.
Earlier, he eased into a 4-0 lead with top breaks of 76, 61 and 52. O’Sullivan then went for a 147 in the fifth frame, but could only make 89 before missing the 12th black.
“I’m lucky that I’m able to play to such a level and perform like that,” said O’Sullivan after winning his eighth consecutive competitive match. “I don’t think there are many sports people that feel that feeling in their job. So I feel extra lucky and special that I’m able to create the great moments.
“147s definitely still excite me and get the adrenaline going. I already had the record at 12 and I thought someone will have to go far to beat that, but it’s always nice to add to that and make it more difficult for someone to reach.
“The fans will go home and feel like they want to come back and watch another snooker game. I feel like I’ve done my job to make people want to come back and watch snooker again.
“I was shaking like a leaf at the end – the blue just about went in and on the pink I was shaking but I hit it good. I celebrated before the black because I thought I can’t really miss. Although Ken Doherty missed one once so I thought don’t make yourself look stupid.”
Selt said: “I just didn’t settle at all. I had a couple of chances early in the first frame – I think I missed the black and nearly fell over. I didn’t play how I wanted to and didn’t settle and I felt it was always going to be 6-0 from 3-0 onwards.
“I’m more happy than he is that he made that 147. It was a great experience and I had the best seat in the house to watch it. I was sat in my chair when he went up for the yellow and I could barely sit down, I was shaking that much for him.”
Stephen Maguire was the last man through to the quarter-finals as he beat David Morris 6-3 on the other table.
Morris was playing in the last 16 in York for the second year running, but he started tonight’s match slowly. Maguire led 3-1 at the interval, thanks to a top break of 108. Morris hit back to win the next two to draw level, with a 90 break in the fifth. But Maguire, who won the UK Championship ten years ago, saw out the win by taking the next three without reply, including breaks of 41, 74 and 41.
“It was a strange game,” said Maguire, who faces Marco Fu tomorrow evening in the next round. “I was looking at the score at 3-2 and I couldn’t believe it was 3-2 because I felt like I was the only one that was making chances.
“He had a couple of cracking flukes to get him involved in the game and it could have been anyone’s really. To pull away from 3-3, I was chuffed to bits.
“I’m pleased that I’m playing in the evening again tomorrow because I’m a little bit tired now. It means I can go out now and get a meal and watch everyone else twitching tomorrow afternoon.”