- World Snooker Championship
Trump sticks with O'Sullivan at Crucible
Judd Trump dug deep to stay with Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first session of their World Snooker Championship semi-final clash as the pair shared the opening eight frames.
After 'The Rocket' stormed his way to four of the opening five frames, Trump battled and kept in touch with O'Sullivan, and will be the happier of the two players as they head into the second session on Friday morning.
World champion O'Sullivan revealed he will not participate in any more major tournaments after his 13-4 demolition of Stuart Bingham in the last eight, with this year's event set to be his "last farewell," and the 37-year-old kicked off superbly to dominate the early stages of the tie.
Trump came through a Crucible classic against Shaun Murphy 13-12 in the quarter-finals, but the 2011 runner-up presented too many gifts to O'Sullivan at the start.
Trump had the first opportunity to make a significant contribution in the opening frame after he slotted in a cracking red, but immediately broke down on the blue. Following a long safety battle, it was O'Sullivan who stepped in to win the frame with a break of 65 - with the highlight a fine red into the right middle pocket from a difficult angle to land perfectly on the black.
Trump was cruising towards the second frame whilst on a run of 42, but luckily a miss to the middle pocket did not cost him as O'Sullivan could only make 47. The frame was settled on a respotted black, with O'Sullivan twice coming close to doubling his lead, but Trump was able to make it 1-1.
O'Sullivan - in his 10th semi-final and with thoughts of a maximum 147 break on his mind after five reds and five blacks - moved back in front with runs of 40 and 31 when Trump attempted to pot his way out of trouble at the start of the frame, and another wild miss from the youngster enabled O'Sullivan to rattle in a 75 and extend his advantage.
Trump required a turnaround after the mid-session interval, but instead he found himself further behind as a quick-fire 89 from O'Sullivan made it 4-1.
A 50 from Trump reduced the deficit to two, and despite O'Sullivan knocking in a 56 in the seventh the world No. 3 closed the gap to one at 4-3, before a 72 levelled the session.
Ricky Walden is showing early signs of providing the opposition for either O'Sullivan or Trump in the final after he moved to a 6-2 lead over Barry Hawkins. A rare re-rack was needed in frame three after a bunch of reds formed an ugly cluster in the bottom left corner of the table, but Walden hit breaks of 91, 105 and 119 in an impressive display.