World Snooker: Judd Trump takes control against Higgins

By Mark AshendenBBC Sport at The Crucible
Judd Trump eyes up a shot
Trump dominated for most of the evening session at the Crucible

Judd Trump opened up a 10-7 frame lead against John Higgins after a pulsating opening two sessions in the World Championship final.

The 21-year-old Bristolian looked at ease and produced two centuries to leave the three-time champion reeling.

Scotland's Higgins fought back from losing the first two frames but ended the afternoon session at 4-4 after Trump hit back with a break of 102.

Trump surged on and took the last three frames to leave him eight from glory.

The best-of-35 frame match continues on Monday at 1400 BST.

The final had begun with a moving tribute to the late Ted Lowe, the former BBC commentator who died on Sunday.

The Crucible audience were then treated to a mesmerising battle between the experienced Scot, in his fifth world final, and the young pretender eyeing back-to-back ranking titles.

Many may have expected Trump, who has risen to ninth in the provisional world rankings, to struggle in the sport's greatest arena but after his China Open win in April and his run in Sheffield, his confidence is flying and he coolly took the game's opening two frames.

Higgins, eyeing a fourth world crown, seemed strangely subdued and error-ridden but still managed to secure three frames in a row in typical gritty style to edge ahead.

Bristol's top cueman hit back though with a stunning 102 and despite losing a shocking seventh frame after missing out on a maximum 147 when on 64, he set up the second session perfectly having drawn level at 4-4.

Trump began the evening in similar style as he blew a golden opportunity when on 20 and had to watch Higgins step to the table and produce a 60 to regain the lead.

But the pattern turned on its head as Higgins was the one stuck in his chair following a knock of 45. Trump's deep screw on the red was sensational and led to the clever snooker that ultimately created the chance for Trump to clear to the pink and level at 5-5.

It was the start of a remarkable feast of top-potting by the spiky-haired young left-hander as he produced a run of 58 to get in front.

After his semi-final win over Mark Williams, Higgins warned that not even putting the white cushion was a guarantee to stem the flow of Trump's potting power and frame 12 was a perfect example.

Having already made a 24, Trump was back at the table with a fine long red and as Higgins returned to his throne looking like a man fearing the worst, Trump belted in a dazzling 10-foot black to finish on 103 points and open up a 7-5 lead. The crowd rightfully rose to their feet in appreciation.

But Higgins, known as the 'Wizard of Wishaw', has shown plenty of fight over the last two weeks and after stealing the 13th frame having made a lucky snooker, parity was soon restored at 7-7 with yet more grit and tenacity.

It was then Trump's turn to put in a shift of scrapping as he wrestled back the initiative to end the day with three frames in a row.

After a messy frame left Trump ahead on 8-7, the desire of Higgins to continue the fight seemed to dwindle when he surprisingly conceded with three reds left, only trailing by 51. With enough points left on the table to force a re-spotted black, Higgins was fined £250 for opting to concede.

It seemed to boost the already confident youngster, and after the 35-year-old Higgins blew a chance when missing an easy black on 36, it was left for the Bristolian to seal his third successive frame and a three-frame lead to put him firmly in the driving seat ahead of Monday's finale.

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