Neil Robertson made a sensational maximum break in the final of the Betway UK Championship against Liang Wenbo in York.
Robertson finished the first session 5-3 ahead and needs five more frames tonight to win his second UK title.
It’s the first time a 147 has been made in the final of one of the Triple Crown events – the UK Championship, World Championship and the Masters.
Australia’s Robertson potted 15 reds with blacks and cleared the colours to the delight of the Barbican crowd in the sixth frame of the final, taking a 4-2 lead.
He claims the £40,000 rolling prize for a maximum break as well as the £4,000 high break prize, as long as Liang does not make a 147 himself.
It’s the third 147 of Robertson’s career, the other two coming at the 2010 China Open and 2013 Wuxi Classic qualifiers. It’s the first maximum of the season, first in a ranking event since Judd Trump made one at the German Masters in February, and 115th in snooker history.
Earlier in the week, Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh missed the final black on 140.
It’s the fourth year in a row that there has been a 147 in York, following John Higgins in 2012, Mark Selby in 2013 and Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2014.
Robertson is bidding to win his 11th career ranking title and become the eighth player to capture multiple UK titles. He won a tense opening frame on the colours, dropping the yellow into a centre pocket from a tight angle and clearing the table. A break of 60 put him 2-0 up.
China’s Liang, playing in his first BBC final and aiming for his maiden ranking title having lost his only previous final at the 2009 Shanghai Masters, got going with a run of 110 in frame three. Robertson responded with a 106 and he looked set to win the fifth frame when he led 59-26 but a slow rolled pot on the penultimate red along the top cushion somehow failed to drop into the pocket. Liang later potted a superb yellow – similar to Robertson’s in the opening frame – and cleared the table to lead 3-2.
Then came Robertson’s 147 fireworks, and he took frame seven as well with a cool 69 clearance. But world 29 Liang took the last frame of the session with a break of 86 to finish just two behind.
The first ever UK Championship final between two non-British players resumes at 7pm, with first to ten frames to take the trophy and £150,000 top prize.