Judd Trump won the Championship League for a record third time after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-2 in the final at Crondon Park on Thursday.
The Englishman had only just squeezed into the semi-finals thanks to a superior frame difference but took full advantage as he held his nerve to add to his triumphs in 2009 and 2014.
Trump edged Mark Williams in a high-scoring last four clash that also ended in a decider before coming up against O’Sullivan, who had whitewashed Matthew Selt in his semi-final encounter.
In the final, Trump took an early lead thanks to a run of 86 but consecutive centuries of 134 and 119 from the ‘Rocket’ seemed to put him in control.
Trump, though, won a tight fourth frame to ensure that the match went the distance and duly wrapped up victory with a 73 in the last.
Even though it is a non-ranking event played behind closed doors, it’ll be a sweet enough moment for Trump as he gets another one over his 40 year-old rival in a final.
O’Sullivan had won his opening five group matches to extend his unbeaten run in 2016 to 24 matches but eventually lost to Williams in his last round-robin tie.
Trump, who has been close to reaching big heights this season at different points, will be content in the knowledge that he has now guaranteed his spot at the lucrative Champion of Champions invitational next season.
Furthermore, the 26 year-old will have gained that extra bit of confidence ahead of the upcoming World Grand Prix and Players Championship ranking tournaments.
The first of which, the World Grand Prix, starts on Tuesday in Llandudno.