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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 10:41 GMT
The great finals
Terry Griffiths revists some of the best finals of the last 25 years
Griffiths has experienced highs and lows
The UK Championship has witnessed some great finals in its 25-year history. Former champion Terry Griffiths remembers four of the best.


1979
John Virgo 14-13 Terry Griffiths

I'd won the world championships in April, was playing well and had enjoyed a rare victory over Steve Davis in the quarter-finals, so I quite fancied my chances in this final.

But John simply outplayed me, despite being docked the first two frames for turning up late.
Terry Griffiths won his only UK title in 1982
Griffiths experienced a painful defeat in 1979

It was the first time it had happened in a major tournament and was obviously upsetting for John, but it also upset me.

I told the officials I did not want the two frames, I didn't think it was right to penalise him just because he had got stuck in the traffic.

We only played a couple more frames in that session and I won them both as John could hardly hold his cue never mind pot any balls.

I felt awful really and didn't know what to do during the interval.

So I had this wonderful idea to knock on John's door. He was not in the best of spirits, so I said: "Look John I'm sorry about all this. If you like we can share the prize money."

His reply was: "You haven't even won yet."

Well there was no answer to that and all of a sudden I thought what a bloody stupid thing to say.

We went out and John won the match on the last frame and as it turned out that was his only win on the professional circuit.


1982
Terry Griffiths 16-15 Alex Higgins

I had taken a hammering from Davis in 1981. He beat me 16-3 and I spent most of my time in the chair - it was a devastating defeat.

But in 1982 I came back and won the event. I was pleased because the UK championship is such a major event you want to put your mark on it.

Alex Higgins missed out in 1982 but won the following year
Higgins played second fiddle to Griffiths in 1982

I played Alex Higgins and I think I was on top for most of the game, but he put a spurt on and I fell 15-13 down and had to win the last three frames.

Because of our contrast in styles we always had great matches.

My slow methodical game and his quick and exciting style always made for a good spectacle.

But my main recollection was that I had just joined up with Barry Hearn and the Matchroom team.

Barry put on a celebration at the end of the night at the hotel but I just went to bed and had a cup of tea. He never let me live that down.

I was just so pleased to win and I was not a drinker so I said my farewells to everyone and went upstairs.

It just goes to show how boring I am really!


1983
Alex Higgins 16-15 Steve Davis

That was a great match as Davis was well in front at one stage but Alex was at his most dangerous when behind.

Steve Davis is a six-time winner of the event
Davis finished on the losing side in 1983

In the 1980s Davis was dominant, to say the least, and over long matches he would win most of them.

But Alex could beat anybody on his day, as he proved by winning every event on the calendar including two world championships.

He would scrape a few frames here or there then wipe you off the table for three frames. He was a great competitor.

That's exactly what he did here, roaring back against Steve to clinch the title.


1990
Stephen Hendry 16-15 Steve Davis

This was a great final and Hendry cleared up to win. I think he clinched the title with a blue along the cushion with the rest.

It was a great shot to clear up with, but that was the way he played.

He came along and changed the way people played.

Stephen Hendry won his second title in 1990
Hendry won his second UK title in 1990

Steve Davis had everything but then along came Hendry to take the game to another level.

Standards got better and the players became more aggressive.

It's all-out attack now and can only be good for the game.

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Terry Griffiths
"I just wanted to go to bed and have a cup of tea"

Action from York

BBC Sport Academy

Q&A: Steve Davis

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