Dave Gilbert on ‘bonkers’ Crucible after Kyren Wilson semi-final defeat

Dave Gilbert was left frustrated by a ‘shocker’ on Friday night (Picture: Getty Images)

Dave Gilbert described the Crucible as a ‘bonkers’ place to play after a disappointing semi-final defeat to Kyren Wilson on Saturday afternoon.

The two players were impossible to separate over the first two sessions, which finished 4-4 and then 8-8, but on Friday night the Warrior surged ahead.

Gilbert had been very good on Thursday but had, what he described as a ‘shocker’ on Friday as he fell 14-10 behind and couldn’t drag the match back from there.

It is the second time the 42-year-old has been beaten in the semis in Sheffield, losing a decider to John Higgins in 2019, which he felt was an entirely different experience to this defeat.

Both were played in the ‘bonkers’ South Yorkshire venue, which Gilbert feels makes matches as hard and enjoyable as they can be.

‘Last time in the semis I got so close, it’s different, I didn’t get to 16 and have the chance to win,’ he said. ‘That kick on the red will haunt me forever, probably.

‘This year I probably believed more that I could win it than I did last time, absolutely. I believed I could win it this time, one thousand per cent.

Kyren Wilson is into the World Championship final (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’m pretty disappointed really because I did think I had a good chance. My game was there, I just had a little bad session. It’s tough out there, man.

‘It looks so easy when you watch it. How’s he missed that? How’s he done that? It’s a bonkers venue here, it’s incredible when it’s going well for you, it does feel great.’

On what went wrong on Friday, he said: ‘I’m big on my alignment, I knew I weren’t right, when I get like that I can’t quite hit the ball properly, then I just flicked a few with a bit of side. I was just guessing.

‘One bad night in 14 or 15 days, with the qualifiers probably three weeks. Whoever wins this has a tough time at some point I just didn’t manage to rectify it today.’

Gilbert was disappointed but not too down, already looking at the positives of a semi-final run after a season to forget.

‘It’s been a great run, it’s a very disappointing way to go out because I really believed I could win that game,’ he said. ‘I had more than enough chances to do that, but good luck to Kyren.

‘Nothing to feel too bad about, I just lost a game of snooker. I’ll keep up the fitness. Thanks to anyone who was in the crowd last night or today, the reception we got when we walked in was very special and I’ll always remember it.

‘Big thanks to me mate Andy Lee, I’ll be buying the ale tonight and we’ll just laugh about it I guess.

‘I was always battling a lot of elements. 8-8 I felt I was the stronger player, kept getting the back end of things. I had a bit of a shocker last night. Kyren looks confident and deserved to win the match. ‘

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