Wednesday, 17 October 2012

All aboard for Antwerp

This weekend sees the return to Antwerp, Belgium; the scene last year of one of the best snooker finals I've ever seen.

Judd Trump's 4-3 victory against Ronnie O'Sullivan was box office at its best, and sets an almost unbeatable marker for this year's tournament.

With The Rocket seemingly down and out at 3-1 and having spent most of the match watching effortless snooker from Judd, he produced back-to-back centuries to a force a final-frame decider.

Trump clinched the match and the title with the aid of a fluke but it couldn't deny this match's place in the snooker scrapbook.

There wasn't much safety but when there was, it was excellent. This match was all about great pots and one-visit snooker.

Both players were clinical and brutal in the balls and despite the match going the full distance, it was still wrapped up in just over an hour. That was testament to the players clinical scoring.

It was played like an exhibition match and was great reward for an excellent Belgian crowd.

Both players belong on the big stage and with the atmosphere pumping, they relished it. They were fearless, rarely refusing an opportunity to score and taking the chance to put on a real show.

This match was a great advert for a sport that often attracts criticism. It proved short formats can produce memorable snooker too.

On this note, it will be great to return to visit our European neighbours because it evokes such superb memories.

Like many other fans from the continent, the Belgians appear to have such a huge hunger for hosting top level snooker.

The fans create a great atmosphere and a full house for the final is a certainty again. This is something all the top players enjoy - and what is sadly lacking from the PTC events hosted in the UK.

Let the Belgian Open begin.

First, take some time to relive last year's masterful final....

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