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Sunday 17 December 2017

Fergal O'Brien wins professional snooker's longest frame to grab Crucible spot

Fergal O'Brien qualified for the Betfred World Championship in a world record climax
Fergal O'Brien qualified for the Betfred World Championship in a world record climax

Ireland's Fergal O'Brien won the longest frame in professional snooker history to complete the line-up for the Betfred World Championship.

The 45-year-old beat England's David Gilbert 10-9 in the final round of qualifying at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

He took two hours, three minutes and 41 seconds to take the deciding 19th frame, beating the previous record of one hour, 40 minutes and 24 seconds, set by Alan McManus and Barry Pinches at the 2015 Ruhr Open.

O'Brien said: "Obviously in an ideal world you win a bit quicker than that.

"The balls went scrappy in the colours and I was so tired, double-checking everything and I'm so, so relieved.

"I'm looking forward to the draw now."

O'Brien, who has made nine previous Crucible appearances, had not made the main draw since 2010, and will learn his first-round opponent when the draw is made at 10am on Thursday.

Press Association

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