Neil Robertson is the 2015 UK Champion after he completed a fine 10-5 victory over Liang Wenbo tonight in York.
Robertson has been in superb form all week and started today as an overwhelming favourite to claim a second UK title.Liang for his part was hoping that,with his Masters place now secure after his torturous semi final win,he could relax more into his natural game that had seen him reach the latter stages.
This afternoon then it was the Aussie who got off to the better start to lead 3-1 at the interval.Liang pulled one back to make it 3-2,before Robertson produced the moment of the championship when he rolled in a flawless 147 break to send the Barbican into a frenzy.Robertson had been the opponent earlier in the week when Un-Nooh missed the final black,but he made no mistake as he rolled his in to secure the £44,000 bonus.Liang to his credit managed to stay in touch and finished the afternoon just the two behind at 5-3.
Into the night then and as so often the case when the winning line is within sight,both players started to make a few mistakes.The difference was Robertson could afford to,as try as Liang might,he just couldn't get that crucial frame to draw level. The session interval came with Robertson maintaining his two frame lead at 7-5.
On resumption things got even more nervy with Liang pulling off amazing shots only to miss far simpler ones and allowing Robertson,who was also now missing a few to eventually stretch away and claim to title 10-5.
This was Robertsons second time to claim the UK title and was a well deserved success for a player who in truth has looked like the winner in waiting since the last 16.
As for Liang ,the man who the phrase "heart on his sleeve" could have been invented,he has won a lot of friends here this week and maybe this run might just give him the confidence to finally move out of Dings shadow to become a regular feature in the latter stages of events.
For Neil Robertson this win,along with his success in the Champion of Champions will give him massive confidence going into the second half of the campaign.This really was more like the Robertson of a few years ago,before he started to get a bit bogged down around the table to the detriment of his natural game.Hopefully for him he can now keep it going.
As for the championship itself.Well with the greatest respect to those who got to the latter stages I don't think this is a tournament that will live very long in the memory.Many will point to the openness of the competition here as evidence that the format changes of recent years are working,but I think it may point to an inconvenient truth that I will blog about about later in the week.
For now thoguh lets congratulate our champion Neil Robertson who will no doubt be looking forward trying to make it a hat trick of tv events in The Masters in January where the field will include the returning Ronnie O'Sullivan.