December 2, 2019 10:46:23 PM
Nigel Bond produced a stunning upset as he sent world champion Judd Trump crashing out of the Betway UK Championship in York.
Bond, who turned professional 30 years ago and was World Championship runner-up in 1995, stunned the world number one in round three.
The 54-year-old opened up a 5-3 lead, and then held his nerve in frame nine after a long duel on the final pink, before potting it and ending his fellow Englishman Trump’s title hopes.
Bond is ranked 97 places below Trump, but Bond, whose solitary career ranking title so far was the 1996 British Open, found inspired form to cause one of snooker’s biggest upsets in recent years.
He trailed 3-1, only to reel off five successive frames highlighted by breaks of 114 and 85.
“He’s the man of the moment. I’m 54. What am I doing?” Bond told BBC Sport.
“Once I settled, I played some good stuff out there. It’s unbelievable.
“Judd missed one or two, which helped, but I was just trying to show people I can still play. When I am feeling good, my game is still there.”
Trump, meanwhile, added: “Anything can happen in snooker. He used his experiences, and he scored heavily as well.
“I didn’t do a lot wrong. It wasn’t like I was getting in and missing.
“The pace of the game was very slow and hard for me to get a rhythm. Everyone’s human. You can never get too excited or too down.”
Former world champion Neil Robertson was given a fright by Mark King before booking his place in round four.
The dogged King levelled the match from 2-0 down and stayed on Robertson’s heels before he lost a tight tenth frame and the match 6-4.
But 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham cruised into the last-16 with a 6-1 victory over China’s Zhao Xintong.
Basildon-based Bingham never looked back after posting a 127 break in the opening frame, and three more half-centuries eased him past an opponent who could manage a highest break of just 60.
And China’s Li Hang also progressed, beating Marco Fu 6-4 in a high-quality encounter that was highlighted by the winner hitting breaks of 131 in successive frames, while Fu also posted two centuries.
Monday’s third round evening session followed the form guide.
Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen was far too strong for an out-of-sorts Ben Woollaston, beating him 6-1.
Former world champion John Higgins and his opponent Ian Burns are separated by 96 places in the world rankings, and it showed as Higgins cruised home 6-1, helped by breaks of 124, 96 and 88.
Welshman Matthew Stevens was also in convincing form, brushing aside Anthony Hamilton 6-2, and Kurt Maflin ended Alan McManus’ hopes by beating the Scotsman 6-2.