Trump’s dazzling exhibition shot in Northern Ireland Open had opponent laughing

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Judd Trump won his third consecutive title in Belfast as he claimed Northern Ireland Open victory in style, winning the 10th frame after a stunning seven-cushion pot on the pink to leave him on the black. Only four previous players in snooker history have won three ranking titles in a row and the 34-year-old is clearly on top of his game right now.

Trump and Chris Wakelin split the remaining two frames as the former sealed a 9-3 victory on Sunday. He looked unbeatable while pocketting an £80,000 cash prize. His best frame occurred when leading 7-2 with a formidable break of 125 that included a stunning pot on the pink as he went around the table to land on the black.

Trump sent the pink to the middle pocket with power before going off seven cushions, setting himself up to pot the black to raucous cheers at the Waterfront Hall. Even Wakelin chuckled away in awe of Trump, before clapping in unison with the crowd.

Wakelin replied by winning the next frame in his best performance of the match, but Trump responded with a 129 break – his third century in four frames – to seal another victory.

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Despite continuing his stunning run of form, Trump has been told that there is a long way to go until he can be considered one of the greatest of all time by Ronnie O’Sullivan.

When asked what Trump needs to join the Rocket alongside the likes of Stephen Hendry and John Higgins, O’Sullivan insisted that he needs to win more World Snooker Championships.

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“You have to put him up there,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “He’s won a lot of ranking events. He’s won a lot of tournaments, a lot of finals, he’s played consistently very well.

“But for Judd now, for him to get really up there with the all-time greats, he’s going to have to win four world titles. At least four UKs, another three or four Masters. He’s good enough. That’s where people judge you. I think he himself will want five or six world titles.”

Trump’s only Crucible final win came when he defeated Higgins in 2019, but on current form he believes that he can beat any player on the tour and is clearly confident in his abilities, his exhibition shot in the final is very firm evidence of that.

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