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Trump holds nerve to edge Allen in thriller

ESPN staff
December 11, 2011 « Quiros claims Dubai title; Donald does the double | Chartbeat test »
Judd Trump used all his talent to secure an impressive victory over Mark Allen © PA Photos
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Judd Trump survived a stirring Mark Allen comeback to win his first UK Championship title in York 10-8.

Trump was in trouble at 3-1 down but the Bristol cueman rose to the occasion, reeling off seven frames in a row to take a stranglehold on the match.

However, Allen showed grit of his own to win five of the next six frames, only for Trump to prevent the match going to a decider by clinching the title with a break of 76.

"It's a brilliant feeling and it's been a brilliant week," Trump told the BBC. "After losing at the world championship and to come to this event and win in the way I did is just brilliant - but it was a good job I had a good lead at the end.

"It's the best that anyone has played against me, and I was hoping he would miss but I had to force him into mistakes. In the first five-six years it is hard to get through but I'm getting more table time and I'm just getting more confidence and hopefully there is more to come."

Allen said: "I knew it was going to be hard the way I was playing, he scores so heavy and so quickly and I didn't feel I was playing too bad but Judd played so well and it was hard to compete.

"I felt really good but Judd showed just what a good champion he is and I'm sure it is the icing on the cake for him. The crowd has been brilliant all week and I'm obviously disappointed to lose but sometimes you have to say your opponent is the better player and Judd was just that."

Allen started nervously, playing a poor safety in the first frame which allowed Trump to edge in front with a run of 70. Allen then steadied himself with a scratchy run of 56 to level things up, before really arriving in the final with a terrific 141 in the third.

Trump looked rattled by his opponent's sudden fluency, and the fourth descended into a safety battle with both squabbling over a brown, which Trump eventually hit too thick, allowing Allen to move 3-1 ahead.

Bristol's Trump had a slice of luck in the fifth, missing a relatively simple pot when on 13 but putting the ball safe at the top of the table - a situation Allen failed to take advantage of. Trump picked up his cue again, put together a 52, and soon enough it was 3-2. He also claimed a scrappy sixth to level at 3-3, sneaking over the line with a couple of awkward 26s.

And Trump was back in the lead when, with one visit to the table, he bagged the seventh with a 75 - and then the eighth with a 61, taking him into a 5-3 lead. He began the evening session in similar fashion, an excellent break of 109 handing him a three-frame lead. Allen's title aspirations looked to be fading as he gave away the 10th frame, when, from a position of some strength he took on a risky long pot and let Trump in to compile a run of 78 and open up a seemingly unassailable 8-3 advantage.

A break of 139 from Allen showed the Northern Irishman was far from finished, before another impressive frame cut the deficit to three. Some eye-catching safety play enabled Trump to give himself more breathing room, though 2010 semi-finalist Allen came again to cut the gap to three.

Trump, who won the China Open earlier in the year, then missed an easy red with victory in sight to allow Allen to continue his fightback and set up a tense finale. A 95 saw Trump's lead trimmed to one frame, but the 22-year-old showed remarkable composure in frame 18 to finally thwart a resurgent Allen.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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