O’Sullivan seizes final initiative

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Ronnie O’Sullivan gained the upper hand in the Coral UK Championship final but there was still hope for Judd Trump at York’s Barbican Centre.

Four-time UK champion O’Sullivan, who landed his first major title in this tournament 21 years ago when it was played in Preston, looked to be racing towards victory when he built a 5-1 lead.

Trump by that stage looked to be hopelessly off his game, even writing on Twitter during the mid-session interval that his performance had been “absolute poop”, and adding that he would “need to play 10x better to have a chance”.

But by sneaking the final two frames of the afternoon to trail O’Sullivan only 5-3 in the best-of-19 contest, Trump would consider himself to have earned a major let-off.

The pair contested a classic final at last month’s Champion of Champions event in Coventry, where O’Sullivan fired four centuries in a 10-7 victory, and this contest had a long way to go to match that standard.

O’Sullivan, who suffered a broken ankle on the eve of this tournament, has never lost a UK final, adding titles in 1997, 2001 and 2007 to his 1993 trophy, which he landed days before his 18th birthday.

York was where Trump landed his first major success, becoming UK champion three years ago, yet for the opening six frames of this final he was looking likely to suffer a thrashing.

Breaks of 82, 41, and 81 allowed O’Sullivan, himself some way short of prime form, to power four frames clear.

Trump, spending most of the time in his chair, was frequently pawing at his eyes, appearing either tired or unable to understand what was happening.

He made 46 in pinching the scrappy eighth frame and scrambled over the line in the next, meaning he was back in the match, without playing anything approaching his best snooker, ahead of the 7pm resumption.

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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