Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump will head into the evening session of the Northern Ireland Open final all square at 4-4 following a high-quality opening session in Belfast.
O'Sullivan and Trump have been the standout players of the week, both thoroughly deserving of their place in the final, and shook hands before proceedings got underway in front of a typically enthusiastic local crowd.
Trump has shrugged off some unfair criticism in recent weeks by producing some brilliant Snooker in Belfast, victories over Jack Lisowski and Ryan Day coming in against strong and in-form opponents, and despite O'Sullivan starting with a break of the 64, it was the left-hander who pinched the opening frame.
O'Sullivan could have been forgiven for suffering from something of a hangover following his thrilling 6-5 victory over Mark Selby on Saturday but he responded with breaks of 65 and 69 to quickly open up a 2-1 lead.
This final looks set to go the distance, though, and Trump ensured the scores were level at 2-2 heading into the mid-session interval thanks to a fabulous break of 105.
A second century of the match for Trump followed immediately upon the resumption, this time 117, and despite O'Sullivan levelling up again at 3-3 with a well-taken run of 58, Trump knocked in his third hundred break of the match when stroking in a flawless 108 in frame seven.
Trump looked set to lead 5-3 when well set in the eighth frame but when he broke down, O'Sullivan pounced with a break of 58 to make it 4-4 and set up another grandstand finish in tonight's concluding session.