Stuart Bingham produced a sparkling display to win his grudge match with Mark Allen at the Australian Goldfields Open.
The pair’s war of words, which began at last season’s UK Championship, continued yesterday after both men easily won their second-round matches in Bendigo.
Allen twice led in the early stages today, thanks to breaks of 45 in the first frame and 65 in the third, but a 66 from Bingham levelled matters at 2-2 at the mid-session interval.
He then stepped up a gear upon the resumption, moving 3-2 ahead with a 118 and adding a 112 immediately from Allen’s break-off shot in the next to move within one frame of victory.
Allen, who had questioned his opponent’s “bottle” as their bitter feud developed, will have been optimistic after cutting the deficit with a 66 – but Bingham, who squandered a 12-9 lead to lose 13-12 to Ding Junhui in May’s World Championship, this time held his nerve and made a composed 96 to complete a 5-3 victory.
Matthew Selt’s giant-killing run was ended by Shaun Murphy, who triumphed by the same 5-3 scoreline to set up a last-four clash with Bingham.
The 26-year-old Selt had already beaten two players with multiple World Championships to their name in John Higgins and Stephen Hendry, but was always up against it after 2005 Crucible winner Murphy eased into a 3-0 lead despite a highest break of 54.
Selt responded with a 137, the tournament’s highest break to date, and added a 57 to cut the deficit to a single frame.
But Murphy moved 4-2 up with a 72 and, after a pair of low-scoring frames, closed out victory with a run of 42.