Barry Hawkins was desperate for Ronnie O'Sullivan to put him out of his misery so he could hit the bar at the Kilkenny Irish Masters.

His opponent obliged thanks to a 9-1 victory which clinched the Paul Hunter Trophy and the €20,000 winners' cheque at the Ormonde Hotel last night.

Hawkins, the world number 12, started the better and pinched the opening frame of the match 62-49.

He even had a 70 break in the second frame but the Chigwell potter won it by a point to level the match before powering his way over the winning line for his third title of the season.
'Ronnie's a superb player, he just got stronger and stronger,' said Hawkins, a former Grand Prix semi-finalist.

'It was a hard day at the office. At 8-1 down, I wanted him to finish me off because I wanted to get to the bar.

'It was a scrappy match and I just didn't get going. I couldn't buy a win before I came here this week, but hopefully this win kick-starts my season.'

Having pocketed a maximum 147 break in his quarter-final on Saturday, O'Sullivan, this season's SAGA Insurance Masters champion, took home €2,000 in additional prize-money for the competition's highest break prize.

'I should have gone 2-0 down, but I got into my stride in the fifth frame and played well,' said the 31-year-old, who was presented with his trophy by Paul Hunter's widow Lyndsey.

'It's fantastic to play in Ireland, it's a great place to come because you get great support. The Irish love their snooker.

'All the players were depressed when the ranking event over here got cancelled, but hopefully this is the start of many more tournaments.'