O’Sullivan one step away from defending Crucible title

Judd Trump blown away in semi-final as Rocket rolls on

Ronnie O’Sullivan  celebrates beating Judd Trump in the semi-finals  of the Betfair World  Championship at the Crucible Theatre  in Sheffield. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Ronnie O’Sullivan celebrates beating Judd Trump in the semi-finals of the Betfair World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Sat, May 4, 2013, 16:04

Ronnie O’Sullivan rocketed to his fifth World Championship final as he brushed aside the challenge of Judd Trump today at Sheffield’s Crucible.

Armed with a 14-10 lead heading into the fourth session of their semi-final, the defending champion punished Trump’s errors to move a frame away from victory, with a flicker of a recovery from the young pretender extinguished as O’Sullivan came through a 17-11 winner.

After almost a year out of snooker, the feat of reaching another Crucible showpiece match ranks among O’Sullivan’s finest achievements.

He has already claimed this will be his last appearance at the World Championship, where he has won all four of the previous finals he has contested, and given the ease with which he has carved a path through to the title decider, that can only be good news for his rivals, including the inconsistent Trump.

Trump was 50-39 ahead in the opening frame today but missed a red to a corner pocket and O’Sullivan rifled in a 41 break.

O’Sullivan pinched the next after winning a tactical battle and finishing off with a crowd-pleasing 33.

Trump crashed in a 77 break to give himself the slightest hope, but the reprieve was all too brief as O’Sullivan creamed off breaks of 31 and 33 in the next frame to clinch a showdown with either Ricky Walden or Barry Hawkins in the two-day final, beginning tomorrow.