Betfred World Championship final: Judd Trump leads John Higgins 12-5

Judd Trump
Judd Trump

Judd Trump produced a devastating spell of snooker to lead John Higgins 12-5 and take total control of the World Championship final.

After the opening eight frames were shared in a high-class first session, it was in fact Higgins who broke the deadlock on Sunday night with a 125 break - but that would prove his final contribution to the match score.

Trump responded as he had all afternoon and this time kept his foot down to win eight frames in succession, two thanks to centuries and all the while looking every inch a world champion.

Higgins must now produce the comeback of his career if he's to avoid a third successive world final defeat, and his prospects of doing so appear extremely slim after a devastating session which had started so well.

The Scot had earlier clawed his way back to 4-4 after a quality afternoon set-to, but as the title slipped further away from his grasp in the evening, thoughts turned to those complaints about a gruelling schedule.

Trump, on the other hand, appeared fresh as he combined his trademark potting prowess with the maturity and match craft which took him to the Masters title in January.

Less than four months on, the sport's biggest prize is now within touching distance.

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An edgy first frame saw Trump make a 51 break after both players had missed half-chances early on, the unique pressure of the World Championship final enough to put even Higgins off his stride.

Trump, whose sole appearance in the final to date came eight years ago as he lost to Higgins, made it 2-0 after surviving a tense safety battle in which his opponent had briefly threatened to draw level.

Needing a snooker, Higgins in fact found two but a loose safety allowed Trump a look at a long brown, and in it went to make it a dream start for the favourite.

In typical fashion, Higgins responded with a brilliant 139 in which a delicate shot with the rest was the highlight, before Trump returned the favour with a 105 break to re-establish his two-frame cushion.

Returning from the mid-session interval and it was all Higgins, the Scot firing in his second century, a break of 101, to make it three frames in succession and lead for the first time.

Trump again responded at the first opportunity, a 103 break ensuring that the pair were locked together heading into the evening session, which Higgins then began with a 125 break - his third century of the match.

But that was the end of his effort on Sunday, as Trump drew level and then moved ahead with a 135 break completed with a black potted with the cue behind his back.

While Higgins smiled, things got significantly worse as he lost a tight 12th frame and then sat back as Trump unleashed a string of sublime pots in a 114 break to move into an 8-5 lead.

With his opponent bloody at the nose, Trump took his chance to establish a potentially match-winning advantage by taking the final four frames of the day and lead by seven, with only six more required.

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