World Snooker Championship final: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Barry Hawkins 18-12

Last Updated: 07/05/13 5:33am

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Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his fifth World Championship crown after defeating Barry Hawkins 18-12 at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Victory saw the 37-year-old from Essex become the first player to successfully defend the title since Stephen Hendry in 1996.

O'Sullivan extended his 10-7 overnight lead to 15-10 on Monday afternoon and despite a valiant effort from Hawkins, the 'Rocket' was able to complete the result in the evening.

The win for O'Sullivan, who has never lost a World Championship final, is an amazing achievement considering he has been able to take almost a year sabbatical out of the sport before returning to defend his title this time.

Response

First-time finalist Hawkins came out firing at the start of the evening session as the left-hander from Kent won the opening two frames.

He recorded his fifth century of the tournament as he engineered an impressive break of 127 to close the gap to four before winning the next with a scintillating 66.

However, O'Sullivan replied instantly in frame 28 with a break of 77 to move him to within two of retaining his crown.

And seemingly with his back against the wall, the Essex cueman found another gear with another impressive break, 88, just before the mid-session interval.

It was all over in the first frame back as O'Sullivan finished with a brilliant break of 86 to successfully defend his title in style and collect a cheque for £250,000.

O'Sullivan is now a five-time Crucible champion after his wins in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012 to move within one of Steve Davis and Ray Reardon and two behind Stephen Hendry in the all-time list.

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