Ronnie O'Sullivan once again proved last night,that when it comes to champions in snooker they don't come any better than him,as he beat Judd Trump 10-7 in a dramatic final to lift the 2014 Champion of Champions title.
This was the second staging of this event and although Ronnie has won it on each occasion,this match was in sharp contrast to the slog against Stuart Bingham in last years title decider,indeed,if that was a match that showed Ronnie's fighting qualities this was one that showed just how ridiculously talented he is when in the zone.
What was to come was evident early on as Ronnie took the opening frame with a total clearance of 137 and followed up in the next with a 78 to go 2-0.Trump at this stage had hardly had a shot but managed to get off the mark in the next,before also taking the fourth to level at 2-2.
After the mid session interval Ronnie again opened up a two frame lead with breaks of 87 & 80,but Trump produced a 58 of his own to again get within one at 4-3.
This was high quality snooker,but it was about to go up a notch as Ronnie produced two of the most beautiful breaks you would ever wish to see, effortlessly floating around the table & rolling in breaks of 139 & 134.The score 6-3 at the end of the first session.
Into the night session & Trump knew he needed a good start and looked to be getting it only to break down on 56.Ronnie immediately countered with 70 to win the frame on the black to make it 7-3 & made that 8-3 with another 70 in the the next.
The possibility of this not even reaching a mid session interval loomed large for Trump,but in a display that can only bode well for his future,he dug deep.knocking in back to back centuries of his own (102 & 100) to close to 8-5 as they headed out for their cup of tea.
On resumption the momentum stayed with Trump as he continued to freeze Ronnie out,producing further breaks of 69 & 90 to close within one at 8-7.
This was now turning into a classic with both men playing at their absolute best.Into the 16th frame and Ronnie finally got a scoring chance again,digging deep with a 63 to leave Trump leaving a snooker,but this was what he got on the final red to leave him needing the colours to force a respot.This was not to be though as he went in off on potting the green and Ronnie ended a four frame losing streak to to move within the touching distance of the title at 9-7.
He duly went on to seal the 10-7 victory in the next courtesy of another century (109) & just how much this meant to him was evident to all as he punched the air on potting match ball.
In their post match interviews both players spoke with real joy of having been part of such a marvelous match & you got the feeling they would quite happily have carried on for another few hours.
This final was a fitting finale to a great week and ITV4 will rightly get praised for the their excellent coverage which among,other things,once again showed the stupidity of the BBC in dropping the commentary legend that is Clive Everton.from their team.
As for the players,well after a few false dawns it would seem that Trump is finally getting back on the right track and whats more he seems to be developing an all round game that can only be a positive as he tries to reach the heights his talent can bring him to
As for Ronnie,well what can you say? I have often written over the years that one of the great tragedies in snooker was that Ronnie wasn't able to feel the joy in his performances that we as snooker fans felt watching him.Listening to him last night that no longer seems to be the case and we now have a man who really looks in love with the game again and producing the snooker to match it.The fact that he is doing this a month out from his 39th birthday,an age when the other greats Davis & Hendry had long since seen their game go into terminal decline,is even more phenomenal indeed a case could be made that he is getting even better!!