Bingham on track to deny Trump

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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Stuart Bingham was tearing up the script as he stayed on course to topple crowd favourite Judd Trump in their semi-final at the Betfred World Championship.

If the talk off the table in Sheffield was of a ‘dream ticket’ final between master potter Trump and the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, first-time Crucible semi-finalist Bingham was working determinedly in the arena to give himself every chance of defying pre-match expectations.

He went from 5-3 ahead going into the second session to 9-7 in front of a misfiring Trump, and stood every chance of following up his quarter-final victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan with a second huge scalp.

Bristolian Trump has been widely backed to land his first world title this year, with seven-time champion Stephen Hendry among those who have forecast that breakthrough for the 2011 runner-up.

But he had been feverish after his previous win over Ding Junhui, going straight back to bed after wrapping up a 13-4 success.

Still Trump liked his chances, saying: “Every player fancies themselves and everyone has got the self-belief that if they have that chance they’d probably take it, but I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, focus on my game and if I can keep playing like that I’ll be more than happy.”

He would not be happy with his afternoon display though, with the consolation being that Bingham did not take full advantage by extending his lead in the best-of-33-frame tussle.

There was a dash of Trump magic in the second frame of the session as he peppered a break of 113 with exhibition shots. That can hint at Trump being in the mood, but he was otherwise curiously flat.

He at least finished on a high with a break of 64, capped by a showy sinking of the brown, making the gap just two frames overnight. Morning and evening sessions on Saturday will settle the contest.

There will be ample time for 25-year-old Trump to turn the match around, should he pick up form. For 38-year-old Basildon man Bingham, who had breaks of 52, 67, 54 and 85 in staying ahead, there will be the new pressure of a World Championship final appearing on the horizon.

While Trump and Bingham may be heading towards a tight finish, Shaun Murphy had the opportunity to give himself Saturday off, carrying a 13-3 lead over Barry Hawkins into Friday evening’s third session of their scheduled four.

Ten years on from his Steel City trophy run, Murphy was in devastating morning form, plundering breaks of 73, 105, 79, 72, 121 and 54.

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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