Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Taylor sees off Nugget again

Dennis Taylor strode out with oversized glasses and Steve Davis emerged with a ginger wig as they replayed the dramatic final frame of their 1985 World Championship final yesterday.

Twenty-five years to the day from the match Taylor won on the black in the early hours — in front of a record television audience of 18.5 million — he and Davis mocked each other relentlessly at the Crucible during a light-hearted re-run of the most famous frame in the history of snooker.

“You're taking it seriously!” said Davis with incredulity as Taylor played a safety shot early on.

Then, as his opponent struggled, Davis mimicked the voice of the commentator Ted Lowe, growling: “That's a bad miss.”

Inevitably the frame went to the wire, with Davis potting the pink to make the scoreline 38-37 in his opponent's favour.

“And so it came to pass that the match ended on the black,” Davis told the audience.

The rules were discarded as the players began picking up the ball and moving it around the table to recreate the flow of their 1985 meeting.

Taylor was more successful with his daring attempts than he proved in the legendary meeting, potting it three times prematurely, twice with doubles which had gone astray in the original.

But he then missed the shot into the top corner which won him his world title, and instead fired it into the middle pocket.

Davis, who had warned he would be playing the rematch with a hangover after his quarter-final defeat to Neil Robertson, blamed one of his misses on “alcohol poisoning” and another on his strength being sapped by removing the wig.

“Since I've taken my hair off I've lost a lot of strength,” said the man who knocked defending champion John Higgins out in the Crucible tournament proper.

After the black went down for the fourth time, Taylor (pictured) said of the final: “I just never get tired of people talking about it. It's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

“When I meet people for the first time they either wag their finger or raise their arms above their head! After all this time!”

Davis joked a psychoanalyst was still helping him through the heartbreak, as the packed theatre savoured the nostalgia trip.

Meanwhile in the tournament itself, Mark Allen’s quarter-final conqueror Graeme Dott, the 2006 champion, leads Mark Selby 5-3 after last night’s opening session of their semi-final. Selby won the last frame with a 142 clearance although Antrim potter Allen still leads the way with a 146.

The pair are back in action in their first to 17 frame encounter this afternoon.

Australia’s Neil Robertson resumes this morning 6-2 ahead of Ali Carter.

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