UK Snooker: 'Party-pooper' Stuart Bingham dumps Ronnie O’Sullivan out of Championship

York Press: Stuart Bingham gets down to business Stuart Bingham gets down to business

STUART BINGHAM resisted the temptation to wish Ronnie O’Sullivan a happy birthday after dumping him out of the UK Championship.

The Essex potter has suffered more than most at the hands of the world champion – losing four times to him this season alone – but, as the Rocket celebrated turning 38, Bingham held off a determined fight-back to win 6-4 and ruin O’Sullivan’s day.

It doesn’t get any easier for the player they call ‘Ballrun’. The world number one, Neil Robertson, is next in today’s last four.

But Bingham is not short of belief and, after shocking O’Sullivan, feels confident he can perform well in his first UK semi-final.

“I tried to be positive all the way through the match,” Bingham said.

“I was taking my chances. At 3-1 ahead, I seemed to punish every mistake he made and, being the person he is, he came out firing – made a couple of good tons – and I thought ‘here we go’.

“But somehow I kept it together and I am very happy with the win.”

Bingham built his early lead helped by a fantastic 131 clearance in the second frame after O’Sullivan played a loose safety shot.

He extended his advantage in the first frame after the mid-session interval. That seemed to jolt the five-time world champ, who won the next two frames – one with a break of 135 – to pull to within one at 4-3.

Bingham gave himself vital breathing space by taking the next and O’Sullivan, who showed his class in patches, rallied once again with a break of 127.

But there was to be no miracle escape for Ronnie this time, as an excellent safety shot behind green and brown – with a red hanging over a corner pocket – forced an error and rubber-stamped Bingham’s passage.

He added: “I go for my shots. I am very confident at the moment and I just tried to keep it going. I read a comment that he made after the Champion of Champions final (where Bingham lost 10-8 to O’Sullivan).

“He learned from Stephen Hendry, back in the day, that when he gets a winning chance he said ‘don’t freeze or tighten up – go for it’.

“I have learned from every loss and I thought ‘just give me a chance’. Somehow I got over the line.”

Asked whether he felt remorseful about ruining O’Sullivan’s birthday, Bingham joked: "Definitely not. He’s ruined my career.

“It’s one of those. I wanted to shake his hand and wish him happy birthday but I thought it probably wasn’t the best time.”

On facing Robertson in the last four this afternoon, he added: “I haven’t got a bad record against Neil. I am going to jinx myself but I have got a good semi-final record in professional events.

“I am looking forward to it. I will be excited. I’ll probably only get about an hour’s sleep but for the last two or three years it has become more of a regular occurrence so I’ll hopefully play well.”


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