Trump had led 2-0 and 3-1 only for Bond to win five frames on the bounce and seal a place in the last 16.

Northern Ireland Open
Trump: Everyone's the underdog against O'Sullivan
22/11/2020 AT 10:55

The 54-year-old has been as high as No 5 in the world but that ranking came back in 1997 and he has never been past the quarter-finals of the UK Championship.

And the nerves did show as the finish line approached by his fine safety play in the eighth frame with only pink and black remaining helped him see off a misfiring Trump, who has now failed to reach the last eight of this tournament on five consecutive occasions.

But it was a better afternoon for Stuart Bingham, who beat Zhao Xintong 6-1, and he was followed into the next round by Li Hang and Neil Robertson, the latter seeing off a resilient Mark King.

The evening session provided no such upsets - John Higgins coming through some poor form with a new cue to hit his stride and see off Ian Burns 6-1 to set up a clash with Bingham.

WATCH: Higgins takes opening frame after 55-minute struggle

There was also a win for Matthew Stevens continuing his fine form, meaning Trump remained the story of the day, and he bemoaned some poor luck over the course of the match which saw him beaten.

"Nigel played well today and made it awkward for me," Trump said.

"In snooker, you can never get complacent because you never know how the balls are going to run."

Trump had flown out of the blocks, having arrived in the third round for the loss of just one frame, making breaks of 52 and 114 to take a 2-0 lead.

WATCH: The moment Judd Trump was sunk by Nigel Bond

In contrasting form, Bond had won both his matches so far this week at the Barbican in final-frame deciders and had made only two centuries so far this season.

And it looked as though the veteran Englishman, who turned professional the same year that his opponent was born, would be subject to another routine Trump defeat as the two left the arena for the mid-session interval with the score at 3-1.

However, Bond won four frames in a row after the break, leaving Trump 32 mins without potting a ball to lead 5-3.

Bond has struggled for form this season

Image credit: Getty Images

The defending world champion, in pursuit of a coveted Triple Crown, showed his pedigree after such a long time off the table, cutting a brilliant red into a baulk pocket before finishing perfectly on the black.

But with his tournament life on the line, the break broke down once again and a tricky safety battle ensued with Trump leading by 35 points.

Eventually, an opportunity emerged for Bond with three reds which he took but it was by no means a soft table, but the 54-year-old struck an inch-perfect red down the cushion to seemingly leave the frame at his mercy.

Even then, he ran out of position two balls later and had to play safe, still trailing by 10, but did so well enough to earn a free ball and get back among the balls.

The frame came down to the last two balls and Bond won the safety battle before sinking a long-range pink to roll back the years.

"I think it was 10 years since I last played a TV match in a Triple Crown event," Bond said.

"To show that I'm still capable of doing it at 54 years of age is great. I can't believe it to be honest.

"My safety was good. I scored alright, Judd missed a few."

Northern Ireland Open
Trump crushes Grace to set up O'Sullivan final
21/11/2020 AT 21:49
Northern Ireland Open
Northern Ireland Open - Trump and O'Sullivan win through: As it happened
21/11/2020 AT 15:59