Northern Ireland Open: Judd Trump beats Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-7 in final

Judd Trump
Judd Trump's last ranking event win came in the European Masters in October 2017

Judd Trump secured his first world ranking title for 13 months by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-7 in the Northern Ireland Open final in Belfast.

The players were level at 4-4 after a first session which saw Trump knock in three centuries at the Waterfront Hall.

A break of 134 helped O'Sullivan lead 7-6 but Trump took three frames in succession to win the £70,000 first prize and the Alex Higgins Trophy.

Former UK Championship winner Trump has now won nine ranking titles.

O'Sullivan had won last week's Champion of Champions in Coventry and also another invitation event, the Shanghai Masters, this season, but was unable to get the better of his world-ranked five opponent.

The world number three had failed to get beyond the last-16 stage in the first two years of this tournament but dropped just four frames in his first five matches, before edging a thrilling 6-5 semi-final win over Mark Selby on Saturday.

The only other tournament the 42-year-old had played this season was the English Open, the first of the Home Nations series, in which he lost in the semi-finals to Mark Davis.

Trump, whose last ranking event win came in the European Masters more than one year ago, beat Eden Sharav 6-3 to make the final.

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan has won two of the four tournaments he has competed in this year

First session shared

Trump, 29, snatched the first frame of the day on the black but O'Sullivan replied by taking the next two, three breaks of over 60 in the opening three frames helping the five-time world champion to a 2-1 lead.

Trump, 29, scored three centuries on his way to a 4-3 lead but O'Sullivan snatched the eighth frame on the black.

A break of 112 saw Trump go in all square at the mid-session interval and the world number five followed that up with a 117 in the next to nudge ahead.

O'Sullivan took a scrappy sixth, before Trump responded with a break of 108 in frame seven, his ninth century of the tournament.

The Bristol cueman looked well placed to grab the final frame of the session but O'Sullivan's clearance to the black ensured that he went in level.

The players took two frames apiece to stand at 6-6 but after O'Sullivan's 10th century of the tournament, breaks of 54 and 79 helped Trump over the finishing line.

'I've had a bit of stick for underachieving'

"It feels amazing - it's so nice to win again. I was very nervous in that last frame as it's a while since I've done anything and I've had a bit of stick for underachieving," said Trump.

"I got chances in the last few frames and just tried to hold myself together, I've always believed in myself but luck has not been with me.

"I wasn't looking forward to this tournament after going out in the first round last year but the support I've felt this week has been unbelievable."

O'Sullivan said: "Judd deserved to win - he was the better player on the day and the most consistent player this week."

Mark King won the inaugural Northern Ireland Open in 2016, with Mark Williams emerging the victor 12 months ago.

The UK Championship in York is the next event which starts on 27 November, live across the BBC, where O'Sullivan will be looking to defend his title.


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