Ireland’s Michael Judge came from behind to beat Jimmy White 4-2 and claim the 2019 UK Seniors Championship in Hull on Friday.
In an entertaining and often high-quality affair, Judge managed to seal a maiden success on the World Seniors Tour.
White opened the showdown with a terrific 101 century break, only for his opponent to respond in kind courtesy of a tournament-high run of 114.
While the “Whirlwind” regained his lead after a scrappier third frame, it was Judge who finished the stronger by rattling off the last three frames for a memorable victory.
The key point came in the fifth frame when the scores were tied at two frames apiece and Judge pinched a 3-2 lead on the black after White had constructed a break of 69.
In the end, the Dubliner eased beyond the winning line with a break of 54 proving enough to complete the 2019 UK Seniors Championship win.
White had been the pre-tournament favourite following his three prior glories this year that culminated in a second World Seniors Championship triumph in August, and he came close to adding to his record haul of five victories on the World Seniors Tour.
But Judge is deserving of the silverware and the close final was a fitting conclusion to an event that boasted several tight affairs.
Few understood that more than the Dubliner, who recorded dramatic 3-2 defeats of Willie Thorne and Stephen Hendry in the earlier rounds.
It was always likely that Judge would perform well on this tour and it will be interesting to see how many crowns he can gather now that his confidence is high.
Unreal delighted for him ♥️
— Paula Judge (@PaulaJudge7) October 25, 2019
The 44 year-old was a professional on the Main Tour for almost two decades, reaching the World Championship last 16 in 2000, before being relegated eight years ago.
Since then, Judge has been one of the top competitors on the Irish amateur scene – winning numerous ranking titles as well as a brace of Irish National Championships.
In fact, Judge probably still plays to a high enough level to do some damage on the pro circuit.
A lot of the others on the World Seniors Tour will be secretly hoping that he decides to have another crack at the elite level because it wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone of Judge’s calibre mop up in the over-40s category.
All in all, it was another entertaining tournament and the World Seniors Tour continues to grow from strength to strength.
Attendance was good at the Hull Venue, although there were a few issues with the television coverage on FreeSports that really need to be ironed out before future events.
One thing is for sure, the affable Judge will be looking to contend for a lot more pieces of silverware.