UK Snooker crown is Ali Carter’s focus after dogged quarter-final victory

Stuart Bingham’s tournament ended in a 6-4 defeat  to Ali Carter

Stuart Bingham’s tournament ended in a 6-4 defeat to Ali Carter

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

ALI CARTER reckons he will have to find a new gear if he is to get past Shaun Murphy in this afternoon’s UK Championship semi-final.

The ‘Captain’ believes he is still to hit top gear in York this week but, after a 6-4 victory over Stuart Bingham in the last eight, he’s now only two matches away from winning the tournament.

Carter admitted he would have snapped the hand off anyone who told him a year ago that he would get to a World Championship final and a UK semi-final in the ensuing 12 months as he struggled with the effects of Crohn’s Disease.

Now, though, he is targeting much more than the minor placings.

“I am just delighted to get through,” he said. “I don’t feel like I have played particularly great yet but I am in the semis and I will take that. I have put myself in a great position.”

A superb clearance of 134 in the second frame and a 68 break in the fourth gave Carter a 3-1 advantage at the mid-session interval but Bingham, the recent winner of the Premier League, is the man in form and battled back to level at 4-4 after the match got bogged down after the restart.

But a crucial 60 in the ninth frame once more gave Carter the advantage and he wasn’t to be denied.

“In the first session I played all right – missed a couple of balls – and it got a little bit bogged down but we were playing for a semi-final place and it’s never easy to get over the line,” he added.

Carter watched the deciding frame of the Murphy-Brecel game in the media room and said of his opponent: “Shaun is a UK and world champion and I will have to find some form and, hopefully, go on and win the tournament itself.

“Shaun and I have played a lot of good matches and he knows what he is up against.”

Bingham was left to rue another defeat in a big tournament quarter-final but, given his success over the last few weeks, he was also happy to take the positives.

“I think he did a number on me,” he said. “I made a good clearance to win the first but he outplayed me in every aspect to win the game.

“He had me in trouble, he probed but I clawed my way back into it. This wasn’t meant to be. It’s disappointing to lose – another quarter-final, another loss – and I don’t know what it is.

“My game is in good shape. I’ve had a great two to three weeks and I have to try and take the positives.”

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