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Winning spell: Neil Robertson avoided a third straight defeat in a decider

Winning spell: Neil Robertson avoided a third straight defeat in a decider

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Winning spell: Neil Robertson avoided a third straight defeat in a decider

Neil Robertson sunk the final pink to beat Judd Trump in a marathon final-frame decider and clinch his third UK Championship title in a post Sunday midnight finish in Milton Keynes.

At almost one o'clock, and with the frame well beyond the hour-mark, Trump missed a golden opportunity to pot the penultimate ball and Robertson stepped in to seal an extraordinary 10-9 win.

No more than a frame had separated the pair throughout the final and the Australian forced the decider with a nerveless break of 72 after Trump missed a simple red on 48 with the title at his mercy.

But that was nothing compared with the drama of the final frame, in which first Robertson ran aground on what was effectively a match-ball red, before Trump picked off the colours to move within two shots of what seemed a certain victory.

Robertson, who had lost his previous two finals this season, hit three centuries in the final which helped him set a new record of 13 hundreds in a single edition event.

The Australian said afterwards: "It was a titanic struggle, we both refused to lose. It wasn't the greatest quality, but sometimes finals are so bad they are good.

"To beat Judd, who is the best player in the world and has been so consistent in finals over the last few years, it's up there with anything I have achieved before.

"If I'd lost three finals in a row, I would have said all the right things but it would have absolutely killed me. I'm not sure I've lost three in a row before.

"I thought it was all over and was getting my runners-up speech ready.

Trump called the encounter an "epic battle" but admitted it was "tough to take" the defeat.

"I bottled it at the end, simple as that," he said. "I had an easy brown to screw back, I tried to stun it as I was under pressure, but I messed it up.

"The pressure got to me. Neil is an amazing player and thoroughly deserved the win. Hopefully I can learn from that."

Belfast Telegraph


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