DAVID MORRIS grew up at house no.147 so it was perhaps fate that he would become a snooker player. Today he pulled off one of the best victories of his career, beating Mark Selby 6-4 at the Coral UK Championship in York.
Much will doubtless be made of Selby’s preparation, having just become a father. But the fact is that Morris played superbly, and finished off the match really confidently, with a winning break of 79.
In short: Selby didn’t lose the match, Morris won it.
Irish snooker needs new stars. It has relied on Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien for the best part of 20 years and they are now each in their 40s.
Morris is not exactly new on the scene – he turned 26 last week – but certainly seems more confident since he dropped off the professional circuit in 2013 and returned immediately through the Q School. This brief flirtation with life without snooker has maybe focused his mind.
The bottom line is that snooker is a very difficult game and to play to a high standard when the pressure is on makes it even more so. That Morris has done so against Selby is a massive boost of confidence.
It will also help his world ranking position. Morris came into the event 62nd in the standings but there is a £6,000 difference between last 64 and last 32.
Selby’s defeat means he is certain to lose his world no.1 position. The only consolation – and it’s a big one – is that he now gets to spend more time with his new daughter.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.