World snooker champion Selby ends Gosport player Mark Lloyd’s hopes of a Northern Ireland Open sensation with back-to-back centuries

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

Monday, 11th October 2021, 8:39 am
Mark Lloyd. Picture: Tim Dunkley

xThe 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.

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.