Robertson Claims Alex Higgins Trophy

Neil Robertson beat Judd Trump 4-1 to win the Alex Higgins International Trophy in Killarney.

The Australian’s victory is his second Players Tour Championship event success in recent weeks having claimed the Warsaw Classic earlier in the month.

The final was a scrappy affair, not at all what had been expected after both players produced some excellent form in the previous rounds.

Robertson’s highest break of the final came in the third frame with a 76 to lead 2-1 after the opening two were shared.

It was the fourth frame, though, that ultimately decided whose hands the glass vase trophy went to as both struggled under the conditions.

Trump had several chances to square the match up once again but missed a difficult blue and Robertson soon sank it and the pink to open up a two frame advantage before completing the triumph in the next with a break of 65.

Unbelievably, the 29 year-old has now appeared in eight ranking event finals and emerged victorious in all eight – a perfect 100% record.

That statistic just proves how mentally strong of a player the former world champion is and he proved tonight once again that he can mix dogged tactical battles with the more fluent snooker he performed earlier in the day.

Robertson was in perilous form as he whitewashed Englishmen Martin Gould and Ben Woollaston before withstanding Northern Irishman Mark Allen’s challenge in the last four by edging a tight contest 4-3.

In stark contrast to Robertson’s record, Allen has now appeared in seven semi-finals and lost on each occasion.

Trump destroyed Stephen Lee, then knocked out Alan McManus and world number one Mark Selby to reach the final.

However, the China Open champion had nothing left to offer at the end of a long day and when his potting deserted him there was only going to be one outcome.

Ken Doherty, who had entertained his home crowd so gallantly yesterday, failed to conjure up a repeat performance on finals day, losing to McManus early on in round four.

The attendance was again disappointing for most of the day but a decent crowd turned up for the final and gave the players a good reception.

Yet, there is no escaping the fact that the tournament was poorly attended and it would be a complete surprise if big-time snooker is back in Kerry any time soon.

It was always a risky objective to stage an event in such an abstract place – pleasant as Killarney may be, any snooker tournament held in Ireland should be a lot more central and, ideally, in Dublin.

It is a shame because it would be a concern that the failure will stem whatever upsurge in popularity the sport had garnered in the country following the PTC Grand Finals last March.

Regardless, Robertson takes home the winner’s cheque and will brimming full of confidence ahead of December’s UK Championship.

The full draw and results for PTC 8 can be viewed by clicking here.

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