Judd Trump remained the snooker king of Northern Ireland after he won the country’s ranking event for a third year running.
Trump fought off a strong comeback from Ronnie O’Sullivan to successfully defend the Northern Ireland Open title and Alex Higgins trophy – incredibly beating the same player and by the same score – 9-7 – as was the case on both previous occasions in 2018 and 2019.
It is the first time since Stephen Hendry’s hat-trick of UK Championship titles in the mid 1990s that a player has won a ranking event three times in a row.
The win and resulting 70,000 ranking points extends Trump’s huge lead at the top of the world rankings as his dominance in the sport continues to gather pace.
It’s his second ranking event of the season after winning the English Open last month.
Since winning the Masters at the start of 2019, Trump has dominated the world of snooker winning numerous ranking titles including the World Championship last year.
Though he failed to defend his Crucible crown in the delayed World Championship this year, Trump has returned to top gear this season and in this form looks destined for even more success.
And despite a late fightback from the reigning world champion O’Sullivan, Trump produced a terrific break just when he needed to to clinch the match 9-7.
Trump had earlier led the contest 7-3 and 8-5 before a late rally from world number two O’Sullivan forced a fascinating finale.
But Trump held his nerve, taking full advantage of a miss to the middle pocket from his opponent which ended a break of 32.