Stuart Bingham produced a sublime display to brush Kyren Wilson aside 6-1 and book a semi-final spot at the Betway UK Championship in York.
Despite the barnstorming victory, Bingham did have a bittersweet moment this evening as he agonisingly missed out on a 147, breaking down on 120 after missing the final yellow in the third frame. However, he won’t rue that for too long after securing a third UK Championship semi-final appearance.
It’s the first time Bingham has ever beaten world number 11 Wilson, having lost all four of their meetings prior to this evening. Kettering’s Wilson will leave York disappointed that he didn’t cash in on his fine form this week, which included a superb 6-2 win over Barry Hawkins yesterday evening.
Basildon’s Bingham took the opening two frames, before his near miss on the maximum put him 3-0 ahead. He then consolidated his considerable advantage by making a break of 53 to go into the mid-session four in front.
When they returned, the 2015 World Champion moved one from victory with a break of 84. Wilson responded, but it was Bingham who got over the line to secure an emphatic 6-1 victory.
Bingham said: “I was fortunate that Kyren had an off day, but he was due one after beating me in our first four meetings. I just kept it tight, he made his mistakes and I seemed to capitalise on them.
“I missed the pink on 134 for £167,000 at the 2002 World Championship. Once you have done that, you can miss anything and it doesn’t really get to you. That was 16 years ago and it still haunts me, so in terms of today it was more about getting the job done than making the 147.”
Bingham will face Mark Allen in the last four after the Northern Irishman defeated close friend Stephen Maguire 6-1 in his quarter-final tie.
Allen and Maguire had only met twice in ranking competition prior to this evening. The Masters champion was a comfortable winner on this occasion, making breaks of 53 and 122 along the way. This is the first time Allen has reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship since appearing in the final in 2011.
“I started well. In the first three frames I didn’t miss many and got on top. With a 3-0 lead in a first to six the job isn’t done, but you will need to play poorly to lose from there,” said Allen. “The thing I struggled with most was playing Stephen. I didn’t get any enjoyment out of playing him at all and it felt like a hollow victory.
“Stuart has probably been the form player this week. He has been awesome and scored very heavily. I am going to have to play better, but it will be the one table setup in a UK Championship semi-final against a class act like him. What’s not to be excited about?”