Terrific Judd Trump thrashes John Higgins to claim maiden World Championship title

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Spell-binding Trump storms clear of Higgins at halfway stage of World Championship final

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World Snooker Championship 2019 Live Scores and Tournament Schedule of Play

Trump kisses the iconic trophy (credit: Richard Sellers/PA Images)

Judd Trump became the latest new name on the World Snooker Championship trophy after a crushing 18-9 victory over John Higgins in the final at The Crucible.

Trump, who added The Masters title to his 2011 UK Championship triumph in January, completed an illustrious career Triple Crown in spell-binding fashion to etch his name into the snooker history books.

Trump missed out on the sport’s most prestigious prize in 2011 when he lost out to Higgins in the final, but reversed the result at the second attempt to fulfill his destiny and clinch the record ¬£500,000 winner’s cheque.

In an incredible final which featured a record eleven centuries, it was the 29-year-old who took control from the second session onwards, pressing home leads of 12-5 and 16-9 to seal the deal in less than one hour in the fourth session.

“It’s an incredible achievement for me from where I was,” Trump told BBC Sport. “I can’t put it into words.

“I’ve worked so hard for this, for people around me it is so special. It was an amazing final, the standard from the very first ball.

“I always raise my standard against John and still don’t beat him! But that is probably the best I have ever played in a major final.”

Higgins was bidding for his sixth world title since his first triumph back in 1998, but was forced to settle for second place for the third consecutive year.

The 43-year-old, who came through an epic last-frame decider against David Gilbert in the Semi-Finals, contributed to a classic final with four centuries of his own, and came agonisingly close to a maximum on Monday.

He admitted: “I was the lucky one to not have to pay for a ticket, he was just awesome.

“I gave it everything but he was just unplayable.

“It will be the first of many I’m sure, to produce a standard like that is incredible.

“I never expected to get to the final but I just came up against an unstoppable machine.”

Higgins shakes hands with Trump (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images)

Trump began the match with breaks of 51 and 63 on Sunday to lead 2-0 before Higgins halved the deficit in style with a majestic clearance of 139.

Trump responded brilliantly with a break of 105 before the Scot made a 69 break en route to levelling up at three apiece.

He then moved in front for the first time courtesy of a break of 101, but only for Trump to hit back in-kind with a 103 to restore parity heading into the second session.

It was ‘as you were’ in the evening as Higgins resumed with a sublime 125 clearance to regain the lead, but that proved to be his last meaningful contribution as Trump embarked on an emphatic spell of dominance.

The Masters Champion took the tenth frame 66-0 before adding a roof-raising break of 135 to move 6-5 ahead.

Trump took the following frame to go further clear before piling in a break of 114 which included a rare 16 reds to lead Higgins stranded in his seat.

A low-scoring fourteenth frame also went the way of ‘The Ace in The Pack’ before consecutive breaks of 71, 58 and 70 saw him storm into the distance overnight.

With his back to the wall, it was Higgins who began the second day strongly, opening up with a break of 113 in which he looked on course to make a maximum, only to miss a straightforward black following an audacious double.

A break of 59 then saw the Scot close the gap to 12-7 behind, but only for Trump to find his feet with a clinical break of 101 in frame 20.

Trump then pounced on a poor break-off from his opponent with a 71 break and followed it up with a spectacular 126 as the big breaks continued to flow.

Higgins responded with back-to-back breaks of 67 and 70 to ensure there would be a fourth and final session, but the honour of the 100th century of the tournament fell to Trump as he also threatened a maximum, with his effort ending a 104 to make it 16-9.

There was to be no ‘finish line fever’ for Trump when the pair returned for the evening session, with the youngster firing in a break of 94 to move to the cusp of glory.

Higgins could muster just one point in the final session before Trump rounded off an unforgettable triumph with a break of 62, prompting emotional celebrations alongside his friends and family.

The victory takes Trump up to number two in the world rankings and ensures he becomes the eleventh player ever to claim a career Triple Crown.