The Barbican Centre, York - 3-11 December 2011
UPDATED DRAW & RESULTS - LIVE REPORT FROM THE FINAL - PHOTOS
Williamhill.com Snooker UK Championship Final 2011
Judd Trump since an early age has been tipped to be a star of the future in snooker and with records such as being the youngest person to make a 147 at the age of 14 it was easy to see why.
But before this year the 22-year-old had only done reasonably well on the main tour winning a couple of small tournaments here and there and having a few good runs in tournaments such as becoming the third youngest player to qualify for the world championship in 2007 and reaching the 2008 Grand Prix semi-final.
In 2011 he proved all his doubters wrong by winning his first ranking title; the China Open in Beijing where he beat Mark Selby 10-8 and famously reaching the World Championship final at the Crucible narrowly losing 18-15 to John Higgins. And today at the Barbican Centre in York he achieved his most famous victory by beating Northern Ireland's Mark Allen 10-8 in the final to win his first UK Championship title.
Judd got off to a good start, winning with a quick 70 break to take the first frame. Mark made a break of 56 in the next which was eventually enough to take the frame to level at 1-1. A fantastic break of 141 by Mark which was the second highest of the tournament (the top being a 144 by Stephen Maguire who wins the £5000 high break prize.) and a battle on the colours which Mark won in the next saw the On Q Promotions player take a 3-1 lead going in to the interval.
The next two frames saw Judd win safety battles on the colours to level at 3-3 and then produce some of his trademark 'naughty snooker' to make a break of 75 to take the lead again at 4-3. Straight off in the next frame he produces a cracking long red and makes a break of 61 which turned out to be enough to have a 5-3 lead going in to the evening session.
They resumed at 8pm and came out to a fantastic crowd which included dozens of Judd and Mark's friends and family cheering them on. Mark needed to get off to a good start and unfortunately it didn't happen as the Ace Judd produced two superb breaks of 109 and 78 to take the two frames to take a 8-3 lead. A rapid-fire break of 74 followed for Judd to take a commanding 8-3 lead.
In the next two frames Mark showed some bottle to rattle off back-to-back centuries of 139 and 129 to reduce his arrears to only 8-5 behind. Judd won the next with a break of 76 to take him to the brink of victory, only needing one more frame for the title. Mark won the next three frames with the aid of breaks of 125 and 95 to reduce the deficit to 9-8 behind. Unfortunately though for him it was too little too late as Judd produced a flawless 91 break to win his maiden UK championship title.
When asked how he feels to have won the title, Judd said; "It feels amazing. We were both at the top of our game. It was Mark's first final so I was surprised how well he played. If he keeps that up he'll have no trouble winning tournaments. At 8-3 I just tried to be patient and wait for chances, but he didn't miss a ball. He was like a machine, he just kept making centuries. I had to make a good break under pressure to win because if it had gone 9-9 he would have been favourite."
"It's an unbelievable feeling to win this tournament. I needed to step my game up and I did it. All week I've had support from my family and friends."
When asked if he there was going to be any "naughty" celebrations; "I won't be naughty now until after the World Championship. I can't buy a Ferrari as I need to get my no claims bonus up, the insurance would not be pretty. But I'll have a brilliant Christmas and go into next year feeling positive. I can't wait for the Masters, to see what the atmosphere is like at Ally Pally."
"I've still got a lot of improving to do but this is a big confidence boost. I don't fear anyone. A few players have criticised me this week, but they knew my strengths and weaknesses and they still couldn't beat me. They say I'm all about potting and my positional play is no good, but I like to prove them wrong. They played well against me and I still beat them quite easily."
"I used to think that no one could dominate the game, but I've changed my mind because I haven't played that well in this tournament and I still won it. A few of the top players are getting on and there's a big gap to my age."
Mark's comments about the final; "In the middle part of the match he played so well. I didn't do that much wrong, and suddenly I was 8-3 down. It shows how good he is, he is the man of the moment. I just tried to believe in myself and wait for a chance. I got back into it, and in the end I went for a red which was the only one I could leave, and it ended up over the pocket."
"I came here to win the tournament and I haven't done that, but at least I got over the semi-final hurdle. I have showed that I can handle the big occasion and that stands me in good stead."
Take nothing away from Mark Allen, his performance this week was the best of his career so far and he finally made it past a major ranking event semi-final on his sixth attempt and takes away £46,000 for his efforts which aint bad before christmas.
Judd Trump though has shown everyone this week what he can do and after coming through 6-5 against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round he went from strength to strength to produce some fantastic Snooker. Everyone's eyes will definitely be looking his way at the Masters and the World Championship next year.
Williamhill.com Snooker UK Champion 2011 - Judd Trump