World Championship snooker final live blog and score as Judd Trump beats John Higgins 18-9 at the Crucible

Judd Trump is snooker's world champion
Judd Trump is snooker's world champion

Judd Trump has beaten John Higgins 18-9 in the the final of the Betfred World Snooker Championship at the Crucible - catch up on all the action here.

Final score: John Higgins 9-18 Judd Trump


1950: Well, that's all from me folks. I'm almost lost for words at that performance from Trump and am just so pleased to have seen this huge talent now become the finished article. What a pleasure his play has been to witness this season. A sensational snooker player and a worthy world champion.

1945: Class from both players, on and off the table. Two brilliant snooker players, two champions of our sport. The mutual respect between the two players was obvious at the presentation and for Trump, the sky really is the limit. He could well go on to dominate the sport for years to come. For now, he is your 2019 World Snooker champion and I'll raise a glass to that!

Judd Trump: "Incredible. I can't put it into words - I've worked so hard for this and for the people around me, it's so special. It was an amazing final and the standard from the very first session and the very first ball was amazing. John is such a great player. I always seem to raise my game and still don't beat him. Every time I play him I always play amazing and he beats me every time. That's the best I've played in a major final. I might get the first round in!"

1938: The crowd are on their feet for John Higgins. Great scenes. The Crucible crowd know a champion when they see one and this man is one of the very best. Incredible effort from Higgins.

John Higgins: "I was the lucky one as I didn't have to pay for a ticket, he was just awesome. I was lucky to get nine frames. I've just said to him, 'that's the first of many' producing a standard like that. It was incredible."


Frame twenty seven - 63-1 (62)

1932: He's done it, Judd Trump is the new world champion. A break of 62 getting him over the line before John Higgins greats him with a warm hand shake. Wonderful stuff.

1929: This is quickly turning into a great chance. 43 and counting. I just can't see him missing.

1926: Will Trump show any signs of nerves? Is he even feeling any?

1925: Higgins misses from distance and Trump is off again.

1923: Higgins needs the spider to pot to middle but can't make the thin-cut brown. Trump pots the opening red but can only make one before having to play safe.

1922: Trump finds another brilliant safety shot and Higgins can only roll into the pack. This is relentless.

1920: Trump finally misses from distance but nothing doing for Higgins. He'll want to at least drag this out past the mid-session interval.


Frame twenty six - 0-94 (94)

1918: No century but a break of 94 leaves Trump only one frame away from victory. Astonishing performance from an astonishing performer.

1916: Black straight into the heart of the pocket and the frame is safe. Another century?

1914: Trump goes past 50 and is close to killing off the frame already.

1913: He's a joy to watch, he really is. It was only six months ago he was receiving plenty of criticism for apparently underachieving, now he's about to become champion of the world.

1912: Higgins looks on as Trump glides around the table. 26 and counting.

1909: Trump pots from distance - he didn't look like missing. Pink to follow. This might not take long.


1906: Rob Walker welcomes the players. Smiles from both. Let's go.

1904: Try as he did, Higgins could only share this afternoon's eight frames and as result, he surely has do much to do facing a seven-frame deficit. We'll soon find out.

1901: Trump really has produced some of the best snooker imaginable in the first 25 frames, reeling off seven century breaks already, and despite Higgins' best efforts, he just hasn't been able to lay a glove on his younger rival.

1850: Welcome back to Sporting Life's live coverage of the World Snooker Championship final between John Higgins and Judd Trump. If you've been living under a rock for the last day or so, you'll be interested to know that Trump leads Higgins 16-9 and is now only two frames from being crowned world champion following three brilliant sessions of snooker from both players.


1636: Another remarkable session of snooker comes to an end with Judd Trump maintaining his seven-frame advantage which puts him only two away from winning his first World Championship title. Credit to John Higgins for fighting so hard and sharing eight frames with Trump this afternoon, a fine achievement given how well his younger rival has played in this final. The standard of play from the two players has been outstanding - both coming close to making a 147 maximum break today - but Trump has produced snooker from the Gods and will surely be crowned world champion later tonight. Please do join me at 1845 for the final offering from this year's World Snooker Championship.


Frame twenty five - 0-104 (104)

1633: Ah, such a shame. A red to middle just hangs in the pocket and the 147 maximum break isn't to be for Trump. Brilliant effort. The players shake hands, the mutual respect between the two obvious, but Trump is the one firmly in the driving seat.

1632: 'TON UP.' The 11th century of the match and the 100th century of the tournament. Incredible.

1631: Trump pulls off a brilliant pot on the black with the rest and then pots that tricky red along the rail while disturbing another awkward red. It's on!

1628: Trump has his eyes set firmly on the maximum here. One red chained to the side cushion near the green pocket looks the potential fly in the ointment.

1626: Six reds and six blacks. Trump in total control.

1625: Trump looking good already. 32 and counting - four reds and four blacks.

1622: Trump somehow finds a red to the green pocket and has first chance. Higgins looks on in disbelief.

1621: Last frame of the session begins and this is huge. You feel that Higgins needs to win it in order to keep his hopes alive.


Frame twenty four - 79-11 (70)

1618: Frame well and truly safe and the wizard treats the crowd to his own version of naughty snooker. Wonderful response and that break of 70 keeps Higgins alive.

1616: He has control of the white now. Higgins drops the black in with the white chained to side cushion. Brilliant cueing. Pink and one more red needed.

1615: Higgins keeps the break going with some more brilliant potting but he can't get hold of the white.

1611: Trump finally misses from distance and to his credit, Higgins pots brilliantly to middle. Brown to follow. Big visit this.

1608: Now it is end of break as Trump lands smack on top of the brown. Second prize of the snooker but Higgins escapes well.

1606: Trump just does not miss. For all the world it looks like end of break but he somehow finds a red to middle to keep the break going.

1602: Fine long pot from Higgins to get him up and running but he then misses a simple black off the spot. Pressure.

1600: Two huge frames coming up now. If Higgins can win them both, he will still have half a chance at 15-10 going into tonight's final session. Anything less and it would surely be game over.


Frame twenty three - 92-16 (67)

1556: Higgins does the rest and claws a frame back. With that, we will be returning for the evening session so no party, party for me tonight.

1554: Trump just fails to drop a red into the middle pocket. It might have rolled off a touch because let's be right, he wouldn't miss without any foreign intervention would he?

1553: Higgins misses frame ball to middle when on 67. Trump needs all five reds and blacks to force a re-spotted black. He couldn't could he?

1549: Higgins taking these nicely, which is quite remarkable in the circumstances. Easing towards the 50-point mark already.

1546: TRUMP HAS MISSED A POT! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Trump misses a tough pot to middle and Higgins manages to negotiate a tricky opener. What's he got left?

1542: On we go. A bout of safety to begin the frame.

1541: Higgins' pot success in this final is 91 per cent yet he's currently trailing 15-7. Mind boggling.


Frame twenty two - 0-126 (126)

1537: It's there. Another wonderful century break, this time 126, as Trump takes another step towards snooker immortality. That's the 99th century of this year's World Championship by the way.

1536: Trump marching towards his sixth century of the final now.

1532: Trump momentarily loses the white but finds another fine pot. He's past 50 already and another frame looks like slipping away from Higgins.

1530: Trump plays the split to perfection and he's already motoring towards 30 as Higgins looks on.

1529: The players are back and Judd quickly finds an incredible red to the yellow pocket. Astonishing.


1510: Hard pill for Higgins to swallow having given himself some hope by winning the first two frames of the day, only for Trump to respond by claiming the next two. Trump only four away now. The players leave the arena for the mid-session interval.


Frame twenty one - 0-72 (71)

1508: Trump pots to middle and that's enough. 14-7.

1506: The break ends at 71 but Higgins returns to the table needing one four-point snooker just to tie. You have to feel for him.

1504: Trump past 50 now and closing in on another frame. Should be plain sailing from here.

1502: Trump just keeps potting them. Tough black with the white close to the side cushion is easily negotiated.

1500: Trump loses the white before potting a wonderful thin-cut black with his right hand. Remarkable.

1459: Poor break-off from Higgins and Trump is away.


Frame twenty - 0-101 (101)

1456: And Trump brings up the century (101) before missing the very next pot. 13-7. Higgins fighting but his safety game just isn't doing enough to shut Trump out.

1453: Effortless. Trump really is a rare talent. He's past 50 in this break now and is close to chalking up another frame.

1451: Trump races to 36. He looks to have settled down now and will fancy winning this frame in one visit.

1448: Trump can't miss from distance and gives himself a good chance to hit straight back.


Frame nineteen - 60-35 (59)

1445: Marvellous clearance to the pink from Higgins to get another frame on the board. What a warrior.

1443: Higgins negotiates the tricky red along the side cushion and now finds himself in prime position. Can he hold his nerve?

1441: Trump misses again, this time along the cushion, and Higgins finally gets a chance in this frame. Work to do, though.

1438: Poor safety from Higgins but Trump's long potting should come with a health warning. Outrageous.

1437: A rare miss from Trump but Higgins left with nothing to go at.

1435: Trump can only make 19 before losing the white and Higgins rubs salt into his wounds when fluking a red. Safety to follow but a poor one and Trump finds another long red. You can't leave him anything.

1431: Trump pots again from distance and he finds himself presented with a really good chance early in the frame.

1429: Early chance for Trump from distance and the red goes in. No colour to follow, though, and he retreats to the long grass.

1427: I need to catch my breath but we're back to it.


Higgins' wonderful 147 attempt...


Frame eighteen - 113-0 (113)

1425: Ah, such a shame. Higgins misses the final black off its spot. He allows himself a wry smile but must be gutted. What drama.

1424: Oh my word! Higgins has just potted the final red with a double! The crowd are going absolutely crazy, Trump is smiling. It's all happening here.

1422: He sinks the red. Century passed but he wants so much more.

1421: It's there. Another big pot along the side cushion needed. This is so tough.

1420: One red on the right-hand side cushion looks a potential stumbling block and he's lost the white a little here. Needs a good pot with the rest.

1419: Crikey, I'm shaking. Frame safe. 80 and counting. Come on John!

1418: Oh my, he's opened the reds wonderfully. Eight reds and eight blacks so far...

1416: Five reds and five blacks. He's already turned down an easy positional shot on the blue to play for the black. He's got a maximum on his mind you sense.

1414: Fabulous opener from Higgins and black to follow.

1410: Higgins under early pressure following a fine safety shot from Trump but he nestles into the pack nicely.


1408: And now Higgins. All smiles. He looks very relaxed, as do his family. They are just going to enjoy it and why not?

1407: Here comes Trump to some loud music I'm too old to have heard of. It's not too bad actually.

1406: Rob Walker calls 'showtime' and we're almost ready.

1400: Not far away from the resumption now. Trump is 1/16 with Sky Bet to win his first World Championship with Higgins 7/1 to pull off a comeback for the ages. You never know.

1348: For Higgins supporters, of which I am one having plumped for him at 22/1 in my outright preview here a couple of weeks ago, the fact he couldn't eke out a couple of those late frames last night when building early leads could prove to be the killer blow. You have to fear that he has left himself with too much to do against a player like Trump, one who is at the peak of his powers right now, but you can never write off the wizard.

1341: I'd be surprised if Higgins didn't produce some sort of a fightback today - he's too much of a warrior to let Trump run away this - but with the form Trump is showing, it might just be a case of damage limitation for Scot. If Higgins could somehow win today's first session, either 5-3 or 6-2, then at worst, he would be 15-10 behind going into tonight's final session. Higgins would still have a mountain to climb but Trump is entitled to feel the pressure when the winning line comes in sight. After all, he is on the cusp of becoming world champion for the very first time and against a player who has come from behind to beat him many times before.

1338: So what does today have in store then? Does Higgins have anything left in the tank to produce one of his famous comebacks or could Trump even have this wrapped up with a session to spare? He'd need to win six of the eight frames to be played this afternoon but don't rule that out.

1335: Just in case you missed it, here's a taster of what Higgins was up against last night. A simply outrageous pot from Trump.

1327: While paying compliment to Trump's marvellous play yesterday, spare a thought for Higgins who produced some of his best snooker in quite some time to fire in three centuries and inch into the lead at 5-4. Sometimes, big matches can turn on one pivotal moment and when Trump missed two blacks off the spot in frame 10 but was still able to fall over the line to level the scores, that felt like a huge frame to win and so it proved. Trump started the session looking a little edgy and had Higgins been able to go 6-4 in front at that point, the evening, and match, might well have taken a completely different course. As it was, Trump treated us to some brilliant stuff. Some of his long potting had to be seen to be believed and his cue power and positional play was a sight to behold. Higgins was even caught tapping his leg in appreciation at one powered blue that saw the white forced in and out of baulk and land perfectly on the next red.

1318: Good afternoon folks and welcome back to Sporting Life's live coverage of the World Snooker Championship final between John Higgins and Judd Trump. I'm Richard Mann and I will be guiding you through the final act of this year's tournament, one which has given us just about everything but might not deliver the classic final we had all hoped to see. I say that because Trump currently holds a huge 12-5 lead over the four-time champion, built on the back of a scintillating display of snooker in the second session last night that saw him win eight of the nine frames played. In a nutshell, Trump was as close to snooker perfection as you could wish to see and you have to feel sorry for Higgins who did very little wrong all day but now looks set to suffer his third World Championship final defeat in as many years. This great game of ours can be terribly cruel at times.


2250: Stunned. I'm absolutely stunned and John Higgins looked absolutely stunned as he left the arena. He knows that barring something close to a miracle, his race is run. In truth, he did little wrong this evening, he has just bumped into a huge talent at the peak of his powers, enjoying the night of his life. Judd Trump was simply unplayable this evening and with that session of snooker alone, he has broken the back of this final. I'll be back tomorrow for the third session - please do join me then.


Frame seventeen - 19-85 (70)

2234: And there it is. Trump finishes the session with a break of 70 and I think the fat lady is clearing her throat.

2233: Incredible snooker from Trump. He's going to win the session 8-1 and now has one hand on the World Championship trophy. What a performance.

2229: Work to do for Trump but who'd bet against him clearing the table the way he's been playing? Not me.

2228: Higgins doesn't reach when trying to lay a snooker behind the green and Trump looks set to pounce yet again.

2226: Trump falls foul in similar fashion and the balls go messy. Huge frame for Higgins, this.

2224: Higgins finally left with a decent chance but he loses the white before desperately trying to keep the break going to no avail.

2219: Higgins miles out from distance and leaves Trump on who, for once, can't retrieve a lapse positional shot.

2214: Last frame of the night gets under way and you feel Higgins needs to win this one if he is to have any chance tomorrow.


Frame sixteen - 20-70 (58)

2211: A break of 58 ends with a failed attempted double but it's another frame lost for Higgins who skips out of the arena to try and catch his breath.

2210: Frame safe so expect some exhibition stuff now.

2208: This is snooker from the Gods as Trump closes in on 11-5. The Prince will surely soon be King.

2205: Trump in again and the reds are there once more. 'This is utter domination' says Stephen Hendry.

2203: Trump lays another fine snooker after finding yet another astonishing red. This is incredible snooker.

2201: Trump flukes a red, as if he needs the help, and Higgins leaves him in again after getting the dreaded double kiss when trying to play safe.

2157: Higgins finds a brilliant long red but can't get past 20 having lost the white. You have to feel for him in the face of what Trump has produced tonight.


Frame fifteen - 28-95 (71)

2154: Trump kills off the frame with another fine pot. Higgins in big trouble.

2152: Higgins gets one snooker back after clearing a few reds with blacks. Trump escapes the next one.

2148: No century but a break of 71 should be enough to chalk up another frame for Trump. Higgins playing on for now.

2147: Trump waltzing towards the winning line in this frame and maybe even in the match. If he carries on in this form there will only be one winner. Sensational snooker.

2144: Trump pulls off yet another sensational positional shot and you just expect him to clear up from here. 34 and counting...

2141: Higgins all at sea here and misses from distance. In truth, he was miles out. The pressure Trump has put him under is immense. Trump up and running again.

2138: Trump misses a thin cut to middle but no damage done. Higgins tries to get the reds open with an aggressive safety shot but can't force a mistake from Trump.



Frame fourteen - 30-65

2130: Oh Judd, behave! Another contender for shot of the tournament followed by a snooker leaves Higgins in big trouble. He escapes but leaves Trump with a gift which he doesn't turn down. 9-5 now and this match is slipping away from Higgins.

2127: The break finally comes to an end at 47 but Trump is now dictating terms following a fabulous snooker.

2124: Trump working so hard to keep this break going but he's managing it with some wonderful positional shots. His cue power is a sight to behold.

2121: Trump loses the white but responds with a stunning long blue. He looks like a predator out there.

2119: Higgins gets close again but the red won't drop and Judd is presented with another really good chance.

2117: Trump wastes little time in freeing up the black with a safety shot before Higgins gets mightily close to potting from distance. Trump faced with a desperately thin cut.

2115: Higgins running out of options. A wry smile after a cannon goes awry and he is forced to play safe after a break of 30.

2114: With pink and black both out of commission, Higgins is having to work really hard here. But he knows he has to get something going. Quickly.

2112: Iron. Higgins doesn't take a backwards step and floats a fabulous long red into the bottom-left corner pocket.


Frame thirteen - 0-118 (114)

2109: And he gets there! A break of 114 brings up the seventh hundred break of the match already. Incredible snooker from Trump who is really turning it on at the Crucible.

2106: Trump gets over the line with the help of a nerveless pink to middle to open up a three-frame advantage. Meanwhile, he is eyeing up another century.

2102: Ominous signs for Higgins as Trump cruises towards the 50 point mark.

2100: Trump starting to boss this match now and he's got a real presence around the table. He's got the look of a world champion.

2058: Trump with an early chance from a free ball after Higgins misjudges an attempted safety escape.

2052: The players are back. Trump way off with an attempted long red but no damage done.


Huge steal from Trump in frame 12 to lead 7-5 at the mid-session interval and all of a sudden, Higgins looks to be wobbling just a little. He'll need to win three of the five remaining frames tonight to stay in touch.

Any worse than that and you'd have to fear for Higgins against a Trump in this kind of form. We have a big mini-session of snooker coming up .

Time for a drink and I'll leave you with a clip of THAT long red from Trump in frame 10.



Frame twelve - 45-67

2030: Higgins blinks first, missing from distance and Trump doesn't let the chance slip. Big moment in the match you sense. Higgins plays on for snookers with only pink and black remaining. Trump seals the deal and goes to the mid-session interval with a 7-5 lead.

2016: Cat and Mouse. Trump turns down a long yellow and the players engage in a safety bout, the first considerable one of the match.

2021: Drama. Trump loses the white and is forced to play safe before Higgins misses from distance. A few errors creeping in here.

2017: He can't but he reduces his deficit to 11 before Higgins falters with another safety shot. Trump in prime position now.

2015: Higgins misjudges a safety shot and Trump has a chance to steal the frame.

2011: Trademark long red from Higgins from tight under the baulk cushion but a flick on the black leaves him with no pot on. Unlucky. Trump fighting to stay in the frame.

2007: Higgins recovers the situation having momentarily lost the white but then misses a pink off the spot. It wasn't easy but he'd have fancied potting it. Tense.

2003: Higgins pulls off a couple of cracking pots, both with brilliant cueing, to give himself another chance. It's one he needs to take to let Trump know he won't be intimidated.

2001: Just as I say that, Trump loses the white but leaves Higgins with nothing to go at.

2000: Trump in around the black spot and Higgins looks on fearing the worst. Trump a frightening proposition for even the very best when in this mood.

1958: Big frame for Higgins, this, but he misses from distance to leave Trump with an easy starter.


Frame eleven - 4-139 (135)

1955: What a treat we are enjoying. Trump drops in the pink to bring up three figures before treating the fans to some more 'naughty snooker.' A fabulous clearance of 135 puts him back in front at 6-5. Higgins allows himself a wry smile before leaving the arena for a minute.

1953: Frame safe already and another century is on the cards.

1950: Trump loses the white a little but recovers well with another fine pot. Hard to see him going wrong from here.

1947: Trump finding his touch now. That ridiculous red in the previous frame appears to have got him going and he's already up to 28 with plenty of reds in the open.

1944: Both players go in-off before Higgins misses a tough attempted red to middle. Judd pounces and is up and running.


Frame ten - 0-66

1940: Oh my days! Trump bangs in an unbelievable long red to all but seal the frame. Words cannot do that pot justice - deep screw to get the white back to baulk and the red thumps into the back of the pocket. He nearly took himself off his feet with that shot. Unbelievable.

1938: Trump misses a sitter of a black off the spot. You could see him move on the shot there. Tension? Nothing for Higgins to go out but he'll be desperate for a chance to turn the screw.

1936: Trump building a healthy lead and a perfect split on the reds leaves the frame at his mercy. We could be all square again.

1935: Normal service resumed as Trump thumps in a long red with black to follow.

1932: Trump too thin with a black off the spot but Higgins misses the easy opener he is presented with. Trump misses the same red the very next shot before Higgins returns the favour. Madness. They are human after all.

1929: Higgins desperately close with an attempted long red. Trump left with an easy starter.


Frame nine - 125-1 (125)

1924: Higgins clears the table with a break of 125. A majestic exhibition of break-building from the four-time world champion. Who'd bet against him being a five-time world champion in 24 hours or so?

1922: Higgins has the cue-ball on a string. He's really played his way into form over this last week or so. The transformation in him since the tournament began is remarkable.

1921: Higgins looks so focused here. Frame ball negotiated with ease and yet another century break now looks to be on the cards. Staggering stuff.

1918: Tough red to middle coming up. A big moment and straight into the pocket. 49 and counting.

1917: Another split into the pack from Higgins is played to perfection. Break creeping towards 40 now.

1914: Higgins getting to work now. He's desperate to start well but has work to do.

1912: Trump pots from distance in bizarre fashion, jumping up on the shot after a piece of black tape drops from the roof onto the table. The red still goes in the heart of the pocket but Trump then misses a simple blue to allow Higgins back to the table.


1909: Rob Walker teeing us up again. Here comes Trump. And now Higgins. The hairs on my neck are standing. I love this sport.

1906: I spent the short break eating, drinking coffee and explaining to my wife what John Virgo's 'TON UP!' means. More centuries tonight please lads!

1901: Another suggestion for music and another Black Eyes Peas number. I Gotta Feeling. Please get in touch to send me yours, Richard.Mann@sportinglife.com or my twitter handle is @Richard_Mann11.

1858: Only minutes away from the resumption now. I wonder if John Higgins listens to any music to get him in the mood. I think I'd go for The Black Eyes Peas' brilliant anthem 'Where Is The Love?' Both uplifting and inspiring.

1847: Sky Bet currently bet 4/7 Trump and 5/4 Higgins. I'd favour the latter at the prices but I would say that given I plumped for Higgins at 22/1 in my pre-tournament outright preview and have been rooting for him ever since.

Each-way insurance takes the pressure off a little but fingers crossed he can finish the job. What a wonderful tournament he has had.

1845: Good evening folks. Richard Mann reporting for duty ahead of what could prove to be a hugely-vital second session of the World Snooker Championship final between John Higgins and Judd Trump.

The players are currently locked together at 4-4 after a brilliant opening session that featured four century breaks and saw both players lead at different stages of the afternoon.

As it is, the match is perfectly poised with nine frames to be played tonight. One man will find themselves in the driving seat by the end of the evening and you suspect that Trump, in particular, will be desperate for that man to be him.

As we have seen already over the past few weeks, Higgins is almost peerless when big Crucible matches go down to the wire and given Trump's modest recent record against the four-time world champion, he will no doubt be keen to build up a healthy lead if possible.

For Higgins, the above points all stand and he will be mindful not to give perennial fast-starter Trump too much rope.

It makes for another fascinating night at the Crucible.


1648: And that is that. An enthralling opening session of this year's World Snooker Championship final comes to an end with John Higgins and Judd Trump locked together at 4-4.

We have seen some outstanding snooker this afternoon with both players making a pair of century breaks, Trump racing out of the traps to take a 3-1 lead before Higgins produced his best snooker of the season to win three frames on the bounce.

Trump replied in typically fearless fashion to ensure honours are even ahead of tonight's nine-frame second session but I suspect it will be Higgins who will be the happier of the two having finally found the form he has been searching for all year.

If he didn't already, Trump will now know he needs to scale a huge mountain if he is to be crowned world champion on Monday.

Sky Bet still favour Trump at 4/6 with Higgins available at 6/5. Higgins looks to have the slight edge for me but this could easily develop into a classic - let's hope so.

I'll be back at 1845 with play resuming at 1900. Please do join me then.


Frame eight - 4-103 (103)

1643: The break ends on 103 and the players shake hands. Wonderful stuff.

1642: Great character being shown by Trump here and plenty of class, too. Lovely pot on the red and the blue follows to bring up the fourth century break of the session.

1640: Trump goes past 60 and we will be all-square at the end of an outstanding first session of this World Championship final. Can he finish with a century?

1637: Great chance for Trump and he negotiates a tricky red when playing right handed. First-class response from the reigning Masters champion.

1635: Trump can't get control of the white but seems intent on all-out attack. He won't die wondering.

1632: Higgins in first again in the final frame of the afternoon but can't pot a tricky red to the bottom corner pocket. Trump needs a response.


Frame seven - 101-0 (101)

1629: Get ready for it Virgo...'TON UP!' he roars. Higgins inches in front thanks to a brilliant break of 101 but still isn't happy with himself having failed to clear the table courtesy of a missed pot on the green. What a turnaround from Higgins who could barely make a 30 break in the first two sessions of his semi-final against Dave Gilbert.

1626: Higgins up to 68 already and closing in on a 4-3 lead. Flawless stuff from the wizard.

1625: 195 points without reply from Higgins. And counting.

1623: Another well-judged split from Higgins to open up a few more reds. A trademark lick of the lips from four-time world champion as he goes about his business. You could hear a pin drop in the Crucible.

1620: Trump misses from distance by a whisker. The red hangs in the jaws and Higgins follows with a brilliant cut-back black which splits the reds beautifully.



Frame six - 74-0

1616: Higgins negotiates frame ball with no problems and levels the scores at 3-3. Two frames to play this afternoon and two huge frames at that.

1613: Higgins leaves Trump a half chance. He takes the bait but can't pot to middle and gifts a golden opportunity for Higgins to level the scores.

1611: This is such a huge frame already. 3-3 or 4-2 Trump. Higgins knows it, too.

1607: Higgins can't develop the black on 34 and must retreat to the long grass. Higgins grimaces as Trump jumps from his seat to assess his options.

1606: Higgins goes into the pack from the blue and once again, plays it to perfection. He'll want to make this count.

1604: Higgins finds another terrific long red with the white close to the top cushion. Trump watches on.


Frame five - 70-8 (69)

1601: Cannon played to perfection - the wizard working his magic. Pink to follow and Trump won't be coming back to the table. A break of 69 gets Higgins back within one frame of Trump.

1558: Higgins still going strong here. 41 and counting. Might need another cannon soon, though.

1555: Classy red to centre from Higgins but work still to do. Black now tied up on the pink spot.

1552: Trump fails to capitalise on a fine early chance after Higgins fails to negotiate a snooker as desired. Higgins follows up with a scorching long red but can't control the white from the black. Tough red to come.

1546: Higgins loses the white immediately so we could be set for some safety play. Trump snookered but manages to nestle into the safety of the pack of reds.

1545: We're back and Trump misses from distance to hand Higgins an early chance.


Well, well, what a start that was. Brilliant from both players but it's Trump who holds a 3-1 advantage at the mid-session interval thanks to breaks of 51, 63 and 105.

I'm off to catch my breath. Back in ten.


Frame four - 0-105 (105)

1524: Virgo is off again 'TON UP, TON UP!' as Trump leads 3-1 at the mid-session interval thanks to a break of 105.

1523: Trump already close to putting this frame to bed. He'll be delighted with the start he's made and another century looks to be on the cards.

1520: Trump flying around the table here. 46 and counting and he is looking in sublime touch. In fairness, both players do and I really think we could be in for a cracking match.

1518: You cannot leave this man anything. Trump finds a brilliant red from nowhere and away he goes with the balls spread far and wide.


1517: Here's a look at that wonderful rest shot from Higgins in frame three.


Frame three - 139-0 (139)

1513: And so it is. Higgins clears the table in sublime fashion and dare I say it, he looks razor sharp.

1511: 'TON UP' John Virgo exclaims as Higgins cruises to a wonderful century break. The clearance should be a formality.

1507: Ah fabulous effort with the rest given the middle pocket was making things really awkward there. 'Where's Mark Williams when you need him?' Higgins asks with a smile before potting the red. Nice to see him so relaxed as he moves towards the winning line in this frame.

1506: Still work to do for Higgins but he's already past fifty. Tricky red coming up along the side cushion.

1459: After a bout of safety and with the black out of commission, both players agree to a re-rack and it is Higgins who is in first upon the resumption, a trademark long red getting him up and running. He needs to score here you feel.


1458: Trump is now 4/11 to lift the trophy with Sky Bet. Still early days, though. Do get in touch if you wish with any questions or details of any live bets on the action. Drop me an e-mail at Richard.Mann@sportinglife.com or my twitter handle is @Richard_Mann11.


Frame two - 45-72 (63)

1452: Trump gets a snooker back and that's enough to close out the frame. 2-0 Trump but boy that was engrossing. You sense Higgins is going to make Trump work for everything over the next two days.

1452: Higgins playing some fabulous safety here and Trump is doing well to keep him at arms length. Tense.

1447: Higgins gets another snooker but a poor follow-up safety allows Trump to pot the brown from distance. This feels like a big frame already. Higgins back at the table now chasing another snooker.

1446: Higgins gets the snooker, and a good one, which Trump can't escape from. Higgins loses the white from the green so more safety.

1444: Higgins pots red and blue, meaning one four-point snooker is only good enough for a tie. What does the wizard have up his sleeve?

1441: Trump breaks down on 63 but Higgins returns to the table needing a snooker.

1439: Trump racing around the table. 33 and counting and these are ominous early signs for Higgins.

1436: Only 26. Higgins unlucky when splitting the pack and leaving himself with a tricky pot to middle that he misses. Trump back at the table.

1433: Higgins finds a brilliant red to the yellow pocket. What damage can he do?

1430: A stalemate so far here with both players forced to retreat behind the black or into the pack. No sign of a re-rack just yet.

1427: Higgins some way away with his shot-to-nothing attempt but no damage done.


Frame one - 1-66 (51)

1425: A break of 51 comes to an end but it's enough to hand Trump the early lead.

1424: Trump passes 50 at this visit and the first frame is all but his.

1420: Trump finds another fabulous red from distance and this time he's got the white where he wants it. Good chance, this. His long game looks in good working order which hasn't always been the case in the last week or so.

1417: Another miss from Trump, another tough one in truth. Both players taking just a moment to warm to their task. Understandably so.

1416: Trump splits the reds but still plenty of work to do here.

1415: Higgins needs to start well you feel - Trump won't be as easy to peg back as those that have come before.

1414: Trump misses from distance, just. Higgins doesn't but just loses the white and can't pot the following brown to middle.

1412: Higgins breaks off.


1410: Trump is in the arena. Now Higgins. This atmosphere is something else. LET'S GO!

1408: We're nearly ready. Rob Walker doing his stuff. This is it. Can Higgins last home or will fatigue at the end of this marathon test cost him yet again? Can he, from somewhere, find one last knockout punch or will this be the year when Trump finally becomes champion of the world? You couldn't grumble either way could you? Two brilliant sportsmen but there can be only one winner.

1400: We're only minutes away from the start now and I'm beginning to feel a few nerves, not least because Higgins was my only bet in my pre-tournament outright preview at 22/1. Each-way insurance ensures a profitable two weeks whichever way the final goes but I would dearly love for Higgins to finish the job, as much for the man himself as anything else.

I have been lucky enough to interview Higgins a couple of times since losing to Selby in 2017 and it is plain to see how hard that defeat, and the subsequent one to Williams, hit him. I'm really not sure he would be able to come back from a third loss in a row.

1350: Standing in Higgins' way in his quest for a fifth world title is Judd Trump, reigning Masters champion and currently enjoying the one of the best spells of his career. For so long, we have all asked for Trump to harness his huge natural ability into a more-rounded snooker player, one who can win big events with more regularity, and this year he has delivered. Defeats of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final of the Northern Ireland Open and The Masters gave the clearest signal yet that Trump as now close to the finished article and having appeared to peak just at the right time in this event, it comes as no surprise to see that Sky Bet make him their 1/2 favourite to lift his first world title.

All that said, it must be remembered that this is a re-run of the 2011 World Championship final where Higgins prevailed over a fresh-faced Trump 18-15 having trailed 10-7 at the end of the first day's play. While Trump is clearly a better player now, with a much more proficient safety game and plenty of big-match experience, Higgins has generally managed to hold sway over Trump ever since.

In the last nine meetings between the pair, Higgins has come out on top on each occasion, including in the quarter-finals here last year when he pulled off another miraculous comeback, and two victories over Trump this season remain fresh in the memory.

It all makes for a fascinating clash, especially when you consider that Higgins is entitled to still have a few battle scars having lost in the last two finals of the World Championship, firstly to Mark Selby in 2017 and then Mark Williams 12 months ago.

1345: As final acts go, this one certainly has plenty to live up to at the conclusion of a World Championship that has had just about everything; a incredible early shock as amateur James Cahill knocked out world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round, some memorable comebacks - some successful and some not - as Graeme Dott very nearly came back from the dead against Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump somehow managed to overcome Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Kyren Wilson came from 6-2 down to beat Barry Hawkins.

We've had 147 maximum break attempts aplenty, two giants of the game facing off in the last eight as John Higgins reminded everyone that he remains a major force in the game when beating Neil Robertson, while giant-killer Gary Wilson went from former taxi driver to World Championship semi-finalist with a wonderful run to the last four.

However, the biggest story of them all has to be Higgins' spectacular comeback against David Gilbert to book his place in today's final, the final session of their semi-final clash seeing the Scot come from 14-11 behind to prevail in one of the most dramatic snooker matches I can remember. Befitting of a match played at the Crucible, it really was pure theatre.

1330: Hello and welcome to Sporting Life's World Snooker Championship live blog as John Higgins faces Judd Trump in a mouthwatering clash at the Crucible Theatre. I'm Richard Mann and I'll be here over the next two days and four sessions of snooker as we wait to find out who will be crowned 2019 world snooker champion.


Routes to the final

John Higgins

  • 10-7 v Mark Davis (100, 135, 132)
  • 13-11 v Stuart Bingham (132)
  • 13-10 v Neil Robertson (130, 101)
  • 17-16 v David Gilbert (143, 139)

Judd Trump

  • 10-9 v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (141)
  • 13-9 v Ding Junhui (103)
  • 13-6 v Stephen Maguire (131, 106, 101)
  • 17-11 v Gary Wilson (123, 114)

Head-to-head

Higgins 22-9 Trump (1 draw)

  • World Championship: 2018, Higgins won 13-12 (quarter-finals); 2011, Higgins won 18-15 (final)
  • In finals it’s 3-1 Higgins including final-frame decider for 2012 Shanghai Masters

Here is the playing schedule for the best of 35-frames final over the next two days...

Sunday May 5

  • Afternoon session (2.00pm)
  • Evening session (7pm)

Monday May 6

  • Afternoon session (2.00pm)
  • Evening session (7pm)

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