Dave Gilbert held his nerve to beat Mark Selby 4-2 at the Waterfront Hall in the Northern Ireland Open.
Gilbert, 40, has been in stellar form since winning a first ranking event – the Championship League in August – and added the scalp of Selby to an impressive run of performances. He has now won 19 of his last 21 matches, losing to Cao Yupeng at the group stage of the Championship League and to Gary Wilson at the quarter-final stage of the British Open.
The world number 18 had a record of eight losses and just three wins against the world champion and world number one Selby ahead of the last-16 encounter. However, a first-frame break of 115 set the tone on the way to opening up a two-frame advantage.
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Selby, though, is nothing if not resolute, and a 60 cut the arrears. The pair exchanged frames - a 71 from Gilbert countered by a 68 from Selby to leave 40-year-old Gilbert still in control but the Jester ready to pounce.
And it looked as though the match would be settled by a decider when Selby opened the reds 51 points to the good in the sixth frame. However, with just a further seven points added to his total, he would lose control of the cue ball to allow Gilbert back to the table.
It would take multiple visits - with a scrap for the final red proving decisive – but Gilbert would seal only a fourth career win against Selby to progress to the next round moments after the clock ticked past midnight.
Elsewhere, breaks of 70 and 50 in frame six and seven were enough for Ricky Walden to fight back to beat Jackson Page 4-3.
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