World champion Selby compiles back-to-back centuries as Mark Lloyd’s Northern Ireland Open dream is shattered

Mark Lloyd’s dream of dumping world champion Mark Selby out of the Northern Ireland Open was shattered in Belfast.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 8:30 am
Mark Lloyd. Picture: Tim Dunkley

The Gosport player had been handed the daunting first round tie after Mark Davis had been forced to withdraw.

The 21-yeard-old did take a frame off Selby, who has won the world title four times since 2104. But back-to-back century breaks in the final two frames gave The Jester from Leicester a 4-1 success in the best-of-seven series yesterday.

Lloyd compiled a 60 break in levelling at 1-1 by winning the second frame 76-15. But he only managed 13 points combined in the other four frames as Selby motored through the gears.

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Lloyd lost the first frame 84-7 and was trailing again after Selby claimed the third frame 88-0.

The world champion then stepped it up, firing a 101 break to win the fourth frame 101-1 before sealing his success with a 112 break for a 112-5 fifth frame win.

Back in the summer, Lloyd had attended Q School in a bid to win a place on the World Snooker Tour for the next two seasons.

He progressed through five rounds before losing 4-2 to Ian Burns in the quarter-final. As a result, he was one of the ‘best of the rest’ and was therefore invited to compete in the Northern Ireland Open when Davis withdrew.

Among the players Lloyd had beaten at Q School was Tony Knowles, who sprung to fame in 1982 when he thrashed reigning champion Steve Davis 10-1 in the first round of the World Championships. Knowles went on to reach the semi-finals of the Worlds three times and was ranked No 2 in the world in 1984/85.