Snooker - Trump edges Robertson in thrilling International Championship final

Judd Trump is £125,000 the richer after edging out Neil Robertson 10-8 in a thrilling seesaw encounter to win the inaugural International Championship in Chengdu, China.

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Snooker - Trump edges Robertson in thrilling International Championship final
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Judd Trump en route to winning the International Championship

The new world number one fought back from 8-6 behind, reeling of the final four frames to secure his third career ranking event. Robertson can console himself with a runner-up cheque of £62,500 and an added bonus of £2000 for the highest break of 142 in his semi final win over Shaun Murphy.

It always looked destined to be a tight affair going into the final with the Australian leading their personal head to head 4-3, and so it proved with the finalists never more than two frames apart for the duration of the match.

A nervy opening saw both players fail to capitalise on their opening visits but Trump made no mistake at the second time of asking, taking the opener with a break of 61 after Robertson left a red over the corner pocket.

Both players had chances in the next, but Robertson missed a red to the middle pocket in the late stages of the frame to allow the Bristolian to go two clear with a 46 clearance.

Trump got straight back in among the balls in the next and looked set to sail into a three frame lead, but a loose positional shot followed by a poor safety let the Aussie get his first frame on the board with a confident 77 break. An uncharacteristic Trump error then allowed Robertson to level matters at 2-2 with a 68 break, and Robertson took a scrappy fifth to lead for the first time.

Trump seemed a little rattled to have thrown away his early advantage and began to miss more regularly in persevering with his cavalier brand of ‘naughty snooker’, allowing Robertson to win his fourth frame on the bounce. Undeterred, Trump continued to go for his shots and pulled off an absolute cracker of an opening red en route to a frame winning break of 67 to reduce the arrears to 4-3.

Trump edged an error strewn eighth to steal it on the black after both players squandered easy opportunities to take it. And the final frame of the session followed a similar pattern, Robertson taking a narrow frame advantage after Trump missed a simple red to the corner.

When the players returned, a 57 break proved enough for Trump to level at 5-5 following a re-rack and the man they call the Juddernaut took a scrappy 11th to move ahead, only for a missed red to let Robertson level once more.

Trump looked certain to go back ahead when perfectly in the balls with his break on 42. But an awful miscue saw the cue ball leap off the bed and let Robertson in for a frame winning clearance of 88 to get within three of the winning line.

Losing two winnable frames before the final interval seemed to take the wind out of Trump’s sails somewhat and a careless snooker attempt let the Aussie in to take the next after a cracking opening red. But Trump won an edgy 15th to get back within one despite an alarming miss on the black that sent it bouncing off the table, and a superb break of 96 again levelled matters at 8-8.

A brilliant 119 break, the first century of the final, moved Trump to within a frame of the title and he held his nerve with some fabulous potting in the final frame to get over the winning line.

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