MARK WILLIAMS has rolled back the years and claimed his 19th ranking title in Belfast at the #Northern Ireland Open six years since his 18th in 2011.

The match went into a deciding frame thriller which saw Williams claw over the line 9 - 8 against talented Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao.

Williams turned pro in 1992 and joins Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins who have all lifted silverware this season and added yet more titles to their glittering careers.

Higgins won in India, O'Sullivan claimed his 30th ranking title in Shanghai after winning the first Home Nations event the English Open in Barnsley.

Williams' win was against the talented Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao, 17, who was on course to break the record of being the youngest ever winner of a ranking event since Ronnie O'Sullivan's UK Championship win in 1993.

Bullish Battler Williams

But Williams battled through thick and thin to lift the Alex Higgins trophy after being 5 - 3 down at the end of the first session and had to suffer a piece of magic from Bingtao to break his own personal high break of 136 by one point to make a 137.

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However, Williams at 6 - 3 down battled to make it 6 - 6, and from then on it was nip and tuck all the way.

The Welsh potting machine picked up £70,000 as the first prize and also qualifies for the Champion of Champions next year and is on for a Masters place in January.

Williams' first ranking title came back in the 1996 Welsh Open and his 18th was over six years ago in the 2011 German Masters. He said in an interview later on Eurosport: "I'd been stuck on 18 for a while now, and now it's 19."

"I won the Six Reds earlier this year, but that's not a ranking tournament, but it's still a tournament."

And on his young opponent, he said he's a real talent and was potting long balls for fun and added: "I threw everything at him," but he just kept responding.

Bingtao received a gracious ovation from the crowd in Belfast, who had taken him to their hearts in the event.

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Bingtao also gave the crowd and fans watching on TV a great semi-final match with Robert Milkins to land himself in his first ranking final.

Real dedication

Williams also said of Bingtao any players watching in the UK Championship next week should take heed of the dedication and work ethic from Bingtao, who constantly wants to get on the practice table and play snooker.

He also joked on Eurosport: "I'm just glad by the time he gets to 25 I'll be retired and watching him."

The Northern Ireland Open in its two editions so far has produced the best drama in professional snooker with Mark King winning the first win last season in emotional circumstances and now Williams capturing title no 19.

Bingtao will be feared now as he has well and truly proved he is a future ranking title winner - as will Williams who is back on form aided with the help of Steve Feeney and SightRight as that makes it title no 25 for them.

Mark Selby returns to defend his UK Championship title next week.

There are 25 years between Williams and Bingtao, and when Bingtao was born, Williams was winning his first World title.

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By 2011 - Yan was 11 and Williams was on 18 ranking titles! #Class Of 92