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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
1985: The black ball final
Dennis Taylor
Taylor won one of snooker's greatest finals
Dennis Taylor's remarkable 18-17 victory over Steve Davis on the final black has justifiably become regarded as one of the great moments in British sport.

A record viewing audience of 18.5 million were tuned to BBC2, the largest after midnight figure ever recorded and BBC2's best ever figure.

It was also, at the time, the largest British audience for a sporting event.

Taylor dropped just two frames against Silvino Franscisco in the first round, six to Eddie Charlton in the last 16, and five to Cliff Thorburn and Tony Knowles respectively to reach the final.

Davis, aiming to become the first player to win three successive Crucible titles, survived a first round scare, 10-8 against Neal Foulds, and was untroubled thereafter as he went into the final as overwhelming favourite.

Davis gutted

He won all seven frames of the first session and the first of the second session to lead 8-0. At that point it looked over but Taylor managed to win two of the next three plus the five remaining frames of the first day to trail only 9-7 before levelling at 11-11 on the second afternoon.

Davis won the next two frames on the black to lead 13-11 and led again at 17-15 before Taylor drew level at 17-17.

The deciding frame lasted 68 minutes. Taylor potted brown, blue and pink to force the contest to the final ball but assumed that his great effort had been in vain when he left Davis a chance.

But Davis, having to cut the black back to a blind corner pocket with the cue-ball close to the side cushion, overcut it and left Taylor a simple chance.

Taylor's exuberant celebrations, complete with finger wagging, foot stamping and cue waving, provided the perfect release to the tension that had built as the match progressed towards its thrilling climax.

Davis was left only to observe: "It was all there in black and white," when confronted by David Vine and his microphone immediately after the most disappointing defeat of his career.

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