Snooker classics: Dennis Taylor beats Steve Davis in black-ball final

Dennis Taylor's iconic celebration

Dennis Taylor secured his only world title in 1985 by beating defending champion Steve Davis in what became known as the 'black-ball final'.

  • Scroll down to watch the final frame

Davis, appearing in his fourth final and with three world titles under his belt, was a hot favourite to win, even more so after he took the first session 7-0.

That became 8-0 at the start of the second session but, after Davis missed a green, Taylor took the ninth frame to get on the board.

It proved to be a turning point in the match as the 36-year-old Northern Irishman won six of the next seven frames to trail 7-9 overnight with the match back in the balance.

Davis took an 11-8 lead early on the second day but Taylor fought back to level the scores at 11-11. That set a pattern with Davis twice taking a two-frame lead (13-11 and 17-15) only for Taylor to peg him back both times to force a 35th and deciding frame.

The final frame lasted 68 minutes and once again Davis looked to be favourite, building a 62-44 lead with only four colours remaining. But Taylor took the brown, blue and pink to ensure that, for the first time, the title would decided on the black.

Taylor twice failed to pot it with attempted doubles and also missed a middle-distance pot presented by a Davis double-kiss. Davis, attempting to cut the black into the top pocket, over-cut it leaving Taylor a more straightforward pot into the same pocket. He sank it to take the title at 12.23am in the morning.

The match lasted 14 hours and 50 minutes and the final stages were watched by a BBC2 record of 18.5 million people.

1985 World Snooker Championship - Steve Davis v Dennis Taylor Black Ball Final

On This Day...

World Championship memories

Crucible champions through the years

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read