Snooker: Trump triumphs in Players Championship Special

Posted Mar 13, 2017 by Tim Sandle
After an erratic season Judd Trump has finally come good by clinching the Players Championship and with it his seventh snooker ranking tournament win. In the final Trump won a hard-fought battle with Marco Fu.
Snooker player Judd Trump  from Bristol in England.
Snooker player Judd Trump, from Bristol in England.
The Players Championship is a ranking tournament, although it is only open to players who have secured a sufficient number of ranking points to qualify. This makes the competition somewhat controversial with other players on the tour since it can come across as a way for the top players to shoe-in more ranking points and prize money. The controversies aside, to win the tournament against such a crack field is the sign of a player at the peak of his game, especially so close to the end-of-season world championship.
The final of the 2017 Players Championship was contested at Cymru, Llandudno, Wales and doing battle in the final refereed by Brendan Moore were China's Marco Fu and England's Judd Trump. The final was contested over the best of nineteen frames. To reach the final both players had tough semi-finals. Fu was taking to the deciding frame against fellow Chinese player Ding Junhui, winning 6 frames to 5. The highlights were a superb 54 clearance from Ding to win the fourth frame and a solid 106 from Fu in the third frame. Judd Trump was stretch 6-4 by Ali Carter. Trump's win included a 101 break. Earlier in the tournament Trump accounted for Northern Ireland champion Mark King and five times world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan; Fu knocked out Ryan Day and current world champion Mark Selby.
Trump, aged 27, began the final in fine form, knocking in a break of 83 from his first real chance. His cue action was smooth and he knocked in the balls at his usual rapid pace. Fu, the world number nine, came back instantly and won the next two frames, winning the third with a 73 break. The player from Bristol added two further games in solid style as Trump missed several straightforward chances. At 5-2 to Fu the match produced two magnificent century breaks from Trump: 136 and 115. This fine show of form allowed Trump to go 4-5 ahead at the interval. Trump's break of 136 was the highest of the tournament.
Returning in the evening, Trump, who plays left-handed, irresistibly won the four opening frames (to take his tally of consecutive frames to six), and to stand 8 frames to 5 ahead, needing just two more frames for the match. This run included another century break, 110. Fu, however, was not finished and although not scoring as highly, won the next two frames aided by a break of 52. At one stage it looked as though the fifteenth frame would go to Trump until he missed a simple pink ball and the chance of 9-6 evaporated. At 8-7, Trump fired in his fourth match century (102). Fu, still battling, took the next frame. Trump, head down, won the next frame to nil (with breaks of 49 and 53) and clinched the match 10-8.
The frame scores were (Trump first):
First session:
89-0 (83), 26-69 (53), 9-73 (73), 78-8, 0-82 (67), 8-87, 0-83 (83), 136-0 (136), 115-0 (115)
Second session:
90-34, 110-24 (110), 92-0 (63), 77-9 (76), 33-66, 52-63 (MF 52), 102-0 (102), 22-69 (58), 102-0 (53)
Trump was awarded the first prize of £125,000 ($150,000).