DAVID GILBERT admits Mark Selby taught him a snooker lesson as his bid for a first-ever ranking title continues following an eight-frame annihilation in the 19.com English Open Final.

Although only seven positions separated them in the rankings, the gap on the baize was far bigger as the Tamworth-based star was powerless to prevent his practice partner in the afternoon session, where he took seven of eight frames.

And after three-time world champion Selby wrapped up a 9-1 triumph at the earliest opportunity in the evening, Gilbert conceded he’d been outclassed in his fourth ranking final defeat.

“I don’t think there are many players in the world that could have given him a game today,” said the 38-year-old. “It just shows the level you need to be at to win one of these things.

“Mark didn’t give me anything to get started. His safety just killed me, he had me welded to the top cushion.

“And then my long game and safety was just terrible when I did get in.

“I got a frame on the board and felt good, but I barely had a pot in the last two frames that afternoon.

“It was a masterclass performance. He does that all the time to me in practice!”

Gilbert was given a mountain to climb at the K2 in Crawley as Selby sparkled and punished any loose safety play – winning the first four frames with world No.12 only mustering 14 points in reply.

Selby claimed the tactical fifth too, aided by Gilbert needing seven attempts to escape an awkward snooker, but the Tamworth potter bounced back with a morale-boosting 101 clearance, avoiding a potential whitewash.

However, a 130 from Selby then saw him regain control and build up an almost unassailable lead by the end of the session.

Gilbert threatened in the first frame of the evening session, before a fluked snooker turned the tide and he could only watch as another Selby century wrapped up victory.

“I’m still miles away from being one of the best players in the world,” added Gilbert. “They’re on another planet to me.

“I like these Home Nations. I hadn’t done very well in them before, but this year I really enjoyed it. It’s been a good event.

“I’ve got nothing to feel down about, I’ve had a great week. Another final is brilliant for me.”

Watch the English Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White