It’s been a long time coming but David Gilbert can finally say he is a ranking event winner.
The Staffordshire potter has been knocking on the door for snooker silverware for years and Friday the 13th of August was to be his lucky day as he won the Championship League trophy.
The world number 23 beat Mark Allen 3-1 in the final to finally secure his first ranking title of his career.
Gilbert has been one of snooker’s rising performers in recent years having reached a number of finals – his first final coming in China back in 2015 – and memorably losing out to a final frame decider in the semi-finals of the World Championship in 2019.
The Championship League competition has had its critics in recent days but Gilbert will not care and will remember it with pride to be his first trophy – and he will be hoping that’s the very start.
Victory comes at a good time for Gilbert who after a tough season last time around fell outside the elite top 16 where he has been firmly established in recent years.
“I’m only used to loser’s speeches, so I don’t know quite what to say,” Gilbert said after getting his hands on silverware for the first time.
“It’s fantastic, a great start – last year was quite tough so to open with a win is brilliant. Hopefully, I can start playing well again and compete in other tournaments too.
“I always felt I could do better, I know I will never be the best player in the world, but I always felt I could go a bit further and have some bigger moments, so I am glad I stuck at it.”
Gilbert, who has pocketed more than £30,000 by winning the Championship League, will hope to keep his winning form going next week in the British Open.