Judd Trump successfully defends his Northern Ireland Open title.


Judd Trump beat Ronnie by 9-7,  again, to win the Northern Ireland Open 2019. It was a match of the very highest quality as you can see by the above scores.

Congratulations Judd Trump!


Here are the reports by Worldsnooker:

Session 1:

Defending and World Champion Judd Trump leads Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-3 after the first session of the 19.com Northern Ireland Open final in Belfast.

The clash is a repeat of last year’s final, where Trump emerged a 9-7 victor in a thrilling encounter. The first player to reach nine frames this evening will pick up £70,000 and the Alex Higgins Trophy.

Victory for 36-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan would see him overtake Stephen Hendry and become snooker’s outright most prolific ranking event winner.

If Trump were to take home the title he would become the first World Champion to win three ranking titles in the season following their maiden Crucible win, since Hendry achieved the feat in 1990/91.

This afternoon’s session was played to a remarkable standard, with eight breaks over 50 in the eight frames played. That included two century contributions.

Trump started fastest with runs of 68 and 56 to move into an early 2-0 lead. The Rocket got his first frame on the board with a sublime 126.

However, Trump wasn’t to be denied the lead at the mid-session, crafting his own century break of 123 to make it 3-1.

O’Sullivan pulled within a frame when they returned, continuing the streak of single visit snooker with a break of 88. Trump moved 5-2 ahead by claiming two on the bounce, before O’Sullivan secured the final frame of the session to finish 5-3 down.

Session 2:

World Champion and world number one Judd Trump has defended his 19.com Northern Ireland Open title, defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in a scintillating Belfast final.

It’s a 14th ranking title win for Trump, moving him ahead of Ding Junhui the all-time ranking event winner’s list. His victory, in what was professional snooker’s 350thranking event, earns him £70,000 and sees him retain the Alex Higgins Trophy.

The rivalry between the sport’s two biggest modern day superstars, Trump and O’Sullivan, couldn’t be a more tightly contested one. With them now being locked together at 11-11 in their head-to-head record.

This evening’s blockbuster final was a repeat of last year’s showpiece clash in Belfast. 30-year-old Trump also got the better of O’Sullivan on that occasion, winning again by a 9-7 scoreline. This was the first back-to-back repeat final since Paul Hunter and Ken Doherty at the 2001 and 2002 Welsh Opens.

Bristol’s Trump has further solidified his place at the summit of the sport, following his first World Championship title in May. This evening’s victory, along with titles at the International Championship and World Open, has made him the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1990/91 to win three ranking titles in the season after maiden Crucible win.

36-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan will have to wait for another chance to surpass Stephen Hendry and top the all-time ranking event winner’s list on his own.

Trump established a 5-3 advantage after a high quality afternoon session at the Waterfront Hall.

The pair continued to produce fireworks when the action resumed this evening. O’Sullivan immediately pulled within one, taking the opening frame to make it 5-4.

Trump then turned up the heat to pull three clear at 7-4. A fine century run of 104 was then followed up by a spectacular 147 attempt. Two intricately played plants along the way put him in position for the perfect break, but he missed a tricky 15th black to break down on 113.

Despite that Trump onslaught, five-time World Champion O’Sullivan refused to wilt. Breaks of 72 and 76 saw him pull within one at 7-6.

The exhilarating standard continued under intense pressure as the duo traded centuries. First Trump fired in a break of 124 to move a frame from victory. O’Sullivan then kept his hopes alive with a 135 to make it 8-7. However, it was Trump who wrapped up a superb victory with a break of 84. Next up Trump will travel to York aiming to win the UK Championship and complete consecutive victories in all three of the sport’s Triple Crown events.

Trump said: “It was an amazing atmosphere out there at the end. Both times I have played him here in the final it has been unbelievable. The arena is made for snooker. I managed to save my best for the final. I wasn’t feeling particularly great in the matches leading up to that. The end of that semi-final against John Higgins inspired me and that gave me the confidence to go out there against Ronnie and play my best.

“I think for the fans we do bring the best out of each other. We have had some amazing games recently. It is always pretty close. When I have played him recently, I have played my best. That is what you have to do against him. If you miss chances he walks all over you.

“I can’t wait to get started at the UK Championship now. I am full of confidence after the last few events. It is one I’ve had my eye on since winning the World Championship. I’d love to be able to win all three in a row.”

O’Sullivan said: “I’ve had a good week. I’ve enjoyed it. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser. That is sport.

“As far as Judd is concerned there is nobody out there to compete with him. You look at Ding, he isn’t doing much. There’s nobody out there. All you have is me, Higgins and Selby that seem to be lingering about.

“I’m looking forward to the UK Championship. The coffee is good up there and I enjoy York so it will be good to get up there and have a bit of fun.”

Judd played extremely well all day. His potting was scary – it usually is when he is on form – and his safety game was excellent as well. If there is one weaker aspect in his game it’s the cue ball control. Ronnie won most frames he won because Judd made a mistake at some point, and more often than not because he kept running out of position and was forced to take increasingly difficult pots to stay at the table. Also Judd had a number of kicks during the match, with Neal Foulds commenting that “he didn’t cue that one very well”. Kicks are not just random bad luck, a lot of them are related with how the player cues the ball.

Ronnie didn’t play badly by any means. His breakbuilding was excellent, sublime at times. His main weakness at the moment is clearly his long potting: around 40% success isn’t good enough. This means that he has to rely on his opponent’s mistakes to get in. He did take the opportunities he got very well. Make a mistake … he will punish you. That of course puts pressure on his opponents. I can’t help to wonder what would have happened if the match had gone to a decider. Judd made a mistake at the beginning of the last frame and was very lucky not to leave a starter for Ronnie … Oh, and Ronnie’s attitude was totally professional. Some may say that he should have played more conservatively, but that’s not his game, never has been, and his game has won him the record he has. Despite the defeat, there are a lot of positives to take: his form has improved massively and h’es played himself into the one year list top 32 bracket.

One last remark: Ronnie is right when he points out that there isn’t anyone to stop Judd right now, at least anyone in his generation or younger. This season he’s been beaten only by Neil Robertson (37), Joe Perry (45), Lee Walker (43) and Mark Allen (33). In the finals he won he met Ronnie (43), Theppy (34) and Shaun Murphy (37). ALL those players developped through the tiered system. For me the flat daw system is a plain failure and, with the shoter formats that come with it, a cash cow for the bookies.



Session 2


Huges thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those wonderful images


3 thoughts on “Judd Trump successfully defends his Northern Ireland Open title.

  1. I will be interested to see if Ronnie continues playing “exhibition” style snooker for the remainder of his career, or whether this is just a phase. Perhaps if he isn’t able to win tournaments playing this way he might eventually decide to change his style, or perhaps he will choose instead to retire.

    I wonder what it was that made him so willing to grind out matches over the past few seasons. He was clearly good at it (as evidenced by his 10 wins), but it also seemed clear that he wasn’t really enjoying himself (despite the wins) all that much.

    I guess we just have to hope that his poor long-potting is a temporary blip that he can correct, rather than a symptom of a long-term decline (e.g., because of aging and worsening eyesight)…

  2. I think Ronnie has to be at his best to beat Judd. The fact is that Trump’s long pot is tremendous, and if your safety isn’t granitic, he will punish you with a long pot. Ronnie was all the season quite far from his best form. He‘s winning matches with the will and a good concentration. But he still lacks confidence and consistency. I’m sure Ronnie will practice a lot for the Uk. Actually we have to admit that Trump is the man to beat and that he’s in a magical moment.

    • Trump said in the interview with Jimmy White and Neil Foulds after the semis that he’s practicing 6 hours a day. However, Ronnie’s ability to adapt to the match table allowed him to give Trump a game, despite the relative lack of practice. More long pot practice and Ronnie would have won the tournament hands down.

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