KYREN WILSON broke down in tears as he reached a maiden world snooker final after the greatest, most bonkers Crucible frame ever.
The Kettering ace, 28, finally overcame Scot Anthony McGill 17-16 in a gripping semi-final of the Betfred World Snooker Championship.
Yet it came down to a 61-minute final-frame madcap decider with Wilson securing his passage on the pink ball.
Tearful Wilson said: “I didn’t keep myself together and that’s what I’m annoyed about.
“I didn’t feel like I was quite there. Anthony was absolutely phenomenal. He stuck it up me basically. Every frame, every shot he was perfect.
“It’s a cruel game. I’ve dreamt of this moment – but I didn’t want to get there like this.
“I’m in a really good place mentally. I’m enjoying being part of these world champs.
“With everything going on in the world, this is a bonus just being there. That was how I viewed it. If I was going out, it’d be fighting.
“I held myself together until the decider. It’s mad what can happen. It was probably one of the best semi-finals ever. Luck favoured me.
It’s a cruel game. I’ve dreamt of this moment – but I didn’t want to get there like this.
“It was mental the way it panned out. This game is mad and can drive you mad or ecstatic.
“It was such a good standard. I’m annoyed it ended that way. But I’m a fighter and will give it my own in the final.
“How will I celebrate? Carlsberg Pilsner on draft!”
Wilson reckons he had seen a strange omen during his time in Sheffield – white bird feathers had followed him around, with one falling through the open sunroof of his car.
Five-time world champ Ronnie O’Sullivan may have criticised the youngsters coming through but Wilson has shown there is a bright future.
He said: “I don’t know what he is talking about there. There is a lot coming through. World Snooker are doing their best to promote the sport.”
Though there will be fans today for the final, this was the type of match, full of great snooker and drama, that the crowds would have loved and always remembered.
The gut-wrenching, nerve-wrangling, hands-on-head tension was enormous – even Prince Andrew would have been sweating with nerves.
Though Wilson started the final session with a 94, McGill responded with successive breaks of 84, 87 and 122 – remarkably just his second century of the tournament.
The Glaswegian was cueing magnificently well – there was one special long pot on the red – and the 98 clearance moved him 16-15 ahead.
A re-rack after 10 minutes without a ball being potted of the penultimate frame did not help the blood pressure but Wilson ensured it went to the 33rd frame.
In the finale, there were an extraordinary 14 fouls between them – Wilson received an incredible 47 points – and the Englishman even apologised for a fluked green.
The total of 186 points accrued throughout was a record for a frame here at this iconic theatre.
Wilson will now bank £200,000 for getting to the final weekend but should he become world champion on Sunday evening he will scoop a £500,000 payday.
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Unfortunately there has to be a loser and marathon man McGill was the one going home despite playing a record 100 frames in four matches.
The Tartan Nugget, 29, was a 300-1 outsider before qualifying started last month and he said: “I felt really unlucky. Kyren played a great match. It was the best I had played.
“I played well but I didn’t do anything wrong. It was stolen from me, not by Kyren, but from the snooker Gods. I enjoyed the fight. It was played in the right spirit.”