Stuart Bingham faces Stephen Maguire in Welsh Open final
11:43pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in Sport
STUART Bingham continued his remarkable record of having never lost a professional semi-final as he rallied to send defending champion Ding Junhui out of the BetVictor Welsh Open snooker at the Newport Centre.
Bingham, aged 36, relied on breaks of 93 and 108 in the final two frames to snatch a 6-5 victory and book a place in Sunday's final against Stephen Maguire.
Maguire strung together a run of five frames to beat world number two Judd Trump in this evening's match.
The final will be decided in the best of 17 frames with £50,000 on offer for the winner.
Bingham, the world number 10, had to dig deep to book his place having led 2-0 and 4-2 before Ding surged back to take a 5-4 lead.
The Chinese moved within a frame of victory when Bingham missed the black off the penultimate red and all looked lost for the 2011 Australian Open winner.
But he recovered emphatically, producing a break of 93 when he needed it most to set up a deciding frame.
Ding was in first with 23 but, after missing a tricky blue, Bingham cleared the table with a century run to advance to his third ranking final.
"I can't believe how well I held myself together in the end," Bingham said.
"When I missed the black at 4-2 I thought it was going to cost me but in the end I got the job done.
"Rob Walker said in my introduction the other day that I'm like a fine wine who has matured with age and I suppose that's true.
"Winning in Australia gave me a lot of self-belief and I have kicked on from there."
Maguire had fallen 2-0 down in the evening semi-final but then went on a run of five frames to put him on the cusp of the final.
Trump showed his class and an ominous break of 86 moved him to within a frame at 5-4.
But Maguire eventually held his nerve to set up a showdown with Bingham.