And welcome to live coverage of the last day of the 2022 World Snooker Championship, starting with the third session beginning at 1pm.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, who argued with the referee twice, using the well-worn Steve Waugh ploy of motivating himself when batting by picking a fight with one of the fielders, leads Mr Haircut 100 himself, Judd Trump, by 12 frames to five, needing six more to become champion for a seventh time and pocketing the £500,000 winners’ kite.
Should O’Sullivan manage it, he will equal Stephen Hendry, the most successful player of the Crucible era, with seven titles and also beat Joe Davis’s record for longevity, marking 21 years since 2001 between his first title and the latest. But while his lead looks unassailable, Trump, champion in 2019, will know that Dennis Taylor was once 9-1 down in the 1985 final and while it is Ronnie’s biggest overnight lead in a final, Steve Davis led John Parrott 13-3 in 1989, Cliff Thorburn 12-5 in 1983 and Jimmy White 12-4 in 1984, not that it would provide Trump with much succour after Sunday’s error-stricken performance as the Nugget went on to win all three.
Shaun Murphy, 2005 champion turned astute BBC pundit, fears Trump will have endured a dark night, an obscure night, fevered with love’s anxiety: “Trump is capable of putting a run of many frames together but it is a horrific night in front of him. It will now be up to Judd and his family and friends to pull it out of his boots. You almost feel like not coming on the Monday.
“Judd has made far too many mistakes. He has had his chances and to stand any chance he will have to tighten those up.”
Trump needs a fast start, something approaching the eight successive frames he reeled off on the Sunday evening of the 2019 final victory over John Higgins, or we might be anointing O’Sullivan as the GOAT long before night settles on the People’s Republic.