Northern Ireland Open: Mark Williams edges Yan Bingtao in Belfast final

Mark Williams won the World Championship in Sheffield in 2000 and 2003
Mark Williams won the World Championship in Sheffield in 2000 and 2003

Mark Williams has won his first ranking tournament in six years, beating teenager Yan Bingtao 9-8 in the Northern Ireland Open final.

The two-time world champion from Wales trailed the 17-year-old 6-3 in Belfast but fought back and won the last two frames to earn a 19th career title.

Yan, who was bidding to become the youngest winner of a ranking event, led 5-3 after the first session.

A tournament best break of 136 extended his advantage before Williams hit back.

Williams decided to go ahead with Sunday's final at the Waterfront Hall after a nervous night when his wife Joanne became ill and was taken to hospital.

The 42-year-old had a 104 break in the first session but Yan finished it in front and the 136 break made him firm favourite to make snooker history.

Yan Bingtao
Yan Bingtao was aiming to surpass Ronnie O'Sulllivan as the youngest ranking tournament winner

Williams halted his momentum by winning the next three frames to draw level, only for Yan to regain the lead.

The world number 17 made it all-square again but a break of 60 helped Yan go within one frame of victory.

However, Williams showed all his experience by winning the final two frames to lift the Alex Higgins Trophy.

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