Robbo’s Revenge Takes Killarney Crown

Neil Robertson has tonight become the second player after Ronnie O’Sullivan to win two PTC events in the same season with a 4-1 victory against Judd Trump in the final. Click below for more…

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Six months on from their memorable encounter at the Crucible where Judd Trump was successful in ending the reign of defending world champion Neil Robertson, the Australian tonight gained a measure of revenge with a 4-1 success in the final of the PTC8 event in Killarney.

In what was a perhaps surprisingly tactical affair between two of the game’s finest potters, the first two frames were shared before Neil moved into the lead at 2-1 thanks to a break of 76. The fourth frame would however prove to be another scrappy affair which went all the way down to the colours, eventually being settled as a loose safety from Trump on the pink left it hanging over the green pocket for a grateful Robertson.

At 3-1 behind Trump was far from out of it but there was a sense that if he were to get back into it he would need to get in and make a sizeable one visit break to apply some pressure on the Australian. Ultimately however it was not to be and it was Neil who was able to take both frame and match to maintain his phenomenal record in ranking event finals, that is now eight wins from eight including his two PTC triumphs this season.

After a difficult run last season after he captured the World Open title in Glasgow, it is good to see the former world champion back and playing as well as we know he can. With UK Championship rapidly approaching, could this be the year that we see the Australian make a mark on the tournament for arguably the first time?

To make it to the final Neil had already began the day impressively, recording 4-0 victories against Martin Gould and Ben Woollaston before being taken to a deciding frame in his semi-final by Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen. Incidentally though he could not topple the Australian, a semi-final run for Mark represented a good result for him, particularly having come through against John Higgins earlier in the day having been on the brink of defeat at 2-3 behind.

Elsewhere Mark Selby had continued his excellent form from yesterday with victories against Barry Hawkins and Stuart Bingham, winning the latter with breaks of 137, 108 and 94. He was to be stopped in the semi-finals however by a storming performance from runner-up Judd Trump who himself notched a break of 138 in the second frame of that match.

On balance another interesting weekend of snooker, though with crowd levels perhaps lower than had been hoped for and complaints from players over the lack of security resulting in spectators walking across the line of the shot in some instances, perhaps there are lessons to be learned if the tournament is to return next season. It is always hard to judge without being there, particularly as I suspect that at times there were probably more spectators there than it had appeared on television, instead choosing to watch Ken Doherty on a side-table as the local hero made it through to the last 16 stage.

Next weekend we have a weekend off before the UK Championship qualifiers at the start of November which with so many points to play for will be a significant event for all involved…