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semi final update

Postby footygirl

GRAEME Dott stands just three frames from his third world final in as he led Mark Selby 14-10 after the third session of their semi final at the Crucible.

The Scotsman, who resumed 10-6 had to endure the first two frames going the way of the Masters Champion S;eby. The first, a scrappy affair, the second rather more dramatic.

Dott had fired in a break of 60, only to miss a red to the centre. Still, there were plenty of points on the table and the Englishman was very quickly ammasding them. A simple red was dispatched, followed by a pink and slowly but surely Selby inched his way closer to his target to clear with 66 and pinch the frame by one point.

Less strong people might have let their heads drop after such a blow, but Dott is an extremely strong person on the table and promptly hit back by drilling in a long diagnol red from the baulk line for a break of 57, that was good enough to account for the 19th frame and restore his two frame cushion.

Selby, still wasn't displaying the free flowing style that has made him such a feared opponant. No more a graphic example than in frame 20 when going strongly on a break of 38 he overhit a blue to the centre. It was a terrible miss and scattered the balls all over the table. Forunately for him he had left nothing easy for Dott, and the Scotsman was forced into taking on a risky double to the centre. It missed by some distance and Selby was left to complete the formalities of wrapping up the frame to cut his deficit to 9-11.

Selby, though was starting to gain in confidence and the ealarm bells would surely have been ringing for the 2006 world champion when Selby kept him in his seat with a break of 67. Now it was game on at the Crucible and Selby had closed to just 10-11. Could Dott respond again. The answer was a resounding yes as Dott snatched the next on the colours and then made a decisive 56 break to lead at 13-10. So with one frame of the session Dott was now in the position of leading by either two or four frames.

Dott, mindful of this kept the pressure on Selby with a run of 51, before missing a blue to the corner. After dispatching a solitary red he was now in the position of needing one more ball to leave Selby needing a snooker. He wasn't to get it as Selby fired in a long red and then clipped the black in from off the side cushion. Selby couldn't win the frame outright , but he could tie and forces a re-spotted black. As Dott could only watch the Leicester man sank yellow, green, brown and blue before landing on the pink. It was a tricky shot to the centre from under the top cushion. As Selby powered the pink it hit the jaw and trundled round the table before coming to rest close to the top corner pocket. Selby's chance had gone. All Dott needed to do was sink the pink and a 14-10 lead would be his.

You could hear a pin drop as the Scot lined up the pot. He cued it perfectly and the pink dropped and the Scot punched the air in delight. He had come through a crisis on the table and Selby now knows he needs one of his famous fightbacks if he is to deny Dott a place in the final.

Suzy Jardine - The Crucible