Mark King wins the inaugural Northern Ireland Open

The 42-year-old defeated Barry Hawkins 9-8

BY Daniel Kelly 08:18 Monday 21 November 2016, 8:18 21 Nov 2016

Mark King prepares to take a shot Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey

Mark King won the inaugural Northern Ireland Open on Sunday night, clinching a final-frame decider against Barry Hawkins in Belfast.

The 42-year-old turned professional in 1991, but only won his first ranking title after a 9-8 win over Hawkins in the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

Part of the newly created 'Home Series', King won the second of a series of four tournaments, which includes the newly-created English Open along with the Scottish and Welsh Opens.

King came from 5-1 down, but won six in a row, to take a 7-5 lead. Hawkins eventually closed the gap to 8-7, before winning the penultimate frame on a re-spotted black.

In the final frame, the World ranked number 35 won 84-33 to seal a well-deserved and very popular win.

After the match, King, who has suffered in recent years with a gambling addiction, thanked his wife Sally for supporting him, through his issues.

"I used to compulsively gamble and she stuck with me. She has been an absolute rock." 

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