sport

On-song Spaceman has his way

Dominic Dale notched his first-ever Snooker Shoot-Out title in Blackpool with a 77-19 win over Stuart Bingham.

The Welshman hit a pressure long blue to go six points up in Sunday's final and never looked back, rattling in a 61 break.

Bingham responded with a 15 break but missed an easy pink and Dale hit another 16 points to make sure of the victory and collect the 32,000 winner's prize.

The flamboyant 'Spaceman', who sang 'My Way' to celebrate his victory to the delight of the crowd, told Sky Sports: "I just can't believe it, it's ridiculous - I'm 42-years-old and I should be in my grave now!

"All through the tournament I've just been playing frame-by-frame, hoping and praying you just play well enough to get through.

Consistent

"I've been surprised with it myself how consistent I've been and I've pulled out some great pressure balls where if I miss one of them I'm probably out so just luckily I've twitched and they've all gone in."

At the tournament where players dress down, spectators call out, and the hallowed atmosphere of the Crucible can seem a world away, Dale, his hair dyed peroxide blond, showed he had the mettle to win his series of single-frame, 10-minute matches.

He beat compatriot Ryan Day 64-6 in the first semi-final, while Bingham hit a 44 break as he whitewashed former world champion Graeme Dott 62-0.

In the quarter-finals, Bingham narrowly beat Matthew Stevens 34-33, helped by cannoning a red off the brown into the middle after his opponent had notched a 26 break.

Dale hit breaks of 41 and 40 as he saw-off Andrew Higginson 81-1 and Dott, the runner-up in 2012, beat Mark Davis 57-7.

Day took full advantage of a ball in hand after Kurt Maflin potted the white, rattling in the first century of this year's tournament - 101 - to win 105-7 and also collect the 2,000 highest break prize.