Snooker - Brilliant O'Sullivan claims fifth Masters crown

Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed the Masters title for a fifth time with a 10-4 win over fellow Englishman Mark Selby at London's Alexandra Palace.

The world champion collected the three frames he needed for the trophy against last year's winner having led 7-1 after the opening session of an unexpectedly one-sided match.

It was the third time the pair had contested a Masters final, but ended up lacking a competitive edge with O'Sullivan showing why he is arguably the greatest player in snooker history with his five world titles.

O'Sullivan has now won the game's most celebrated invitational tournament, an event that traditionally involves the world's top 16 players, in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2014.

O'Sullivan had won the 2009 final 10-8 against Selby, who returned the compliment by picking up the final four frames in a 10-9 success a year later.

But there never a prospect of a repeat with the Chigwell player in control from the outset of the best-of-19 frames final.

O'Sullivan collects a £200,000 cheque as he adds the Masters title to go with the World Championship crown he won in Sheffield last May.

'The Rocket' should have moved 9-1 clear after a 90 break carried him 8-1 ahead at the outset of the evening session, but somehow missed a brown off its spot when losing concentration.

Selby cleared to the black only to somehow miss the final ball.

But the man from Leicester was handed an unlikely reprieve when O'Sullivan missed a tricky black along the top cushion that his opponent holed to trail 8-2.

A 67 was good enough for Selby to win the 11th frame, but a missed pink in the next frame enabled O'Sullivan to halt any realistic prospect of a recovery as he moved 9-3 ahead.

Another 67 helped Selby win a fourth frame in the match, but O'Sullivan kept his composure to run in 72 to finish off the match in the dominant fashion he had started it.

First session report:

O'Sullivan was three frames short of a fifth Masters title after producing some more sublime snooker to lead Selby 7-1 in the best-of-19 frames final.

A 1500 crowd at London's Alexandra Palace had expected a tightly-fought contest between the two top seeds in their third meeting in the final of the game's most celebrated invitational tournament.

O'Sullivan won the 2009 final 10-8 before Selby returned the compliment by picking up the final four frames in a 10-9 success a year later.

But there appears to be no prospect of a dramatic rerun of such late night shenanigans after O'Sullivan cut Selby apart in an afternoon session when he mercilessly tore into an opponent fresh from a 6-1 win over Shaun Murphy in the semi-final.

O'Sullivan had only dropped three frames in three matches on his way to this final making mincemeat of Robert Milkins (6-1), Ricky Walden (6-0) and Stephen Maguire (6-2) in reaching the final. Selby appears to be his latest victim.

O'Sullivan made a blistering start to the afternoon with breaks of 97, 70, 96 and 45 catapulting the Chigwell figure into a 4-0 lead.

Selby probably should have won the fourth frame, but he seemed to be distracted by an over-eager female fan who apparently applauded loudly between his shots eventually contributing to missing an easy red.

There was a suggestion O'Sullivan played safe in his next shot aware of what had befell his opponent, who glared at the fan as he returned to his seat.

It had no overall effect on the destination of the frame as O'Sullivan swerved a green into the yellow pocket before sinking brown, blue and pink to move 4-0 clear.

Selby's highest break was only 20 in the first four frames. It was only 37 after the opening eight.

He continued to toil in the fifth frame as a 47 from O'Sullivan saw the scoreline move to 5-0. S

elby managed to halt the bleeding momentarily by pinching the sixth frame on the black with a 27 after O'Sullivan ran in a 53.

He looked likely to reduce the deficit to 5-2, but O'Sullivan embarked on 35 prompted by a lovely long red before winning the frame on the re-spotted black for a 6-1 advantage.

There was a glimpse of light for Selby - himself a three-times winners of this event - in the last frame of the session, but O'Sullivan quickly snared the eighth frame with another polished contribution late on to lead 7-1.

He needs three more frames to claim the trophy and a £200,000 cheque. It all looks like a mere formality for the game's greatest player.

Second session report:

O'Sullivan should have moved 9-1 clear after a 90 break carried him 8-1 ahead at the outset of the evening session, but somehow missed a brown off its spot when losing concentration.

Selby cleared to the black only to somehow miss the final ball.

But the man from Leicester was handed an unlikely reprieve when O'Sullivan missed a tricky black along the top cushion that his opponent holed to trail 8-2.

A 67 was good enough for Selby to win the 11th frame, but a missed pink in the next frame enabled O'Sullivan to halt any realistic prospect of a recovery as he moved 9-3 ahead.

Another 67 helped Selby win a fourth frame in the match, but O'Sullivan kept his composure to run in 72 to finish off the match in the dominant fashion he had started it.