Tremendous Trump eyes maiden world snooker title

London (AFP) –


England's Judd Trump moved to within sight of his first snooker World Championship title with some superb break-building as he established a 16-9 lead over John Higgins in the final.

The 29-year-old Englishman will now need just two more frames for victory when the best of 35 contest resumes later Monday after crowning the afternoon's play with the tournament's 100th century -- a new record for a single World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, northern England.

Such was the standard of Monday's afternoon session, it started with Higgins coming close to a maximum 147 and concluded with Trump falling just shy of the landmark after completing the 11th century of a high-calibre match.

Trump had been outstanding in winning eight frames in a row on Sunday to establish a 12-5 overnight lead against Higgins, who beat him in the 2011 final.

But when the match resumed Monday, four-time world champion Higgins -- beaten in the last two Crucible finals -- showed his class.

The 43-year-old Scot potted all 15 reds, including an outlandish double on the last, as he closed in on a maximum before missing a relatively simple black.

Higgins then won the next as well to reduce the deficit to 12-7.

But Trump, who had needed a final frame to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and then came from behind in his second-round match with China's Ding Junhui, stopped Higgins' fightback with a brilliant 101.

It was his fifth century break of the match.

Trump then produced a composed break of 71 following a poor break-off shot by Higgins as he moved into a 14-7 lead at the mid-session interval.

Trump maintained his form when the match resumed, potting a brilliant opening long red and playing several superb positional shots in a commanding break of 12.

Higgins by breaks of 67 and 70, at least avoided losing the match with a session to spare before Trump finished the afternoon's play in style.

There seemed little prospect of a 147 when Trump, on 80, was left with a tough angle on the black and easier colours available to him.

But he made no mistake with a difficult pot and completed yet another century break before narrowly missing a tough red to the left middle pocket.