Stuart Bingham is through to the ManBetX Welsh Open final after defeating Joe O’Connor 6-2 in their last four clash at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
The five-time ranking event winner will now have appeared in three Welsh Open finals. Bingham lifted the Ray Reardon trophy in 2017 when he defeated Judd Trump, and also suffered a narrow loss against Stephen Maguire in the 2013 showpiece clash.
O’Connor’s fairytale run comes to an end. However, the 23-year-old tour rookie from Leicester can head home with memories of giant killing victories against Kyren Wilson, Ding Junhui and John Higgins. O’Connor pockets £20,000 for his run to the last four.
It took both players time to settle this afternoon and the pair traded two scrappy opening frames to make it 1-1. However, from there Bingham burst into life, with century runs of 107 and 100 putting him 3-1 ahead going into the mid-session interval.
Leicester’s O’Connor pulled one back when they returned. 2015 World Champion Bingham then swiftly regained control of proceedings. Further breaks of 104, 125 and 67 saw him surge over the line to book a place in tomorrow’s final.
“I’ve been there done it and got the t-shirt. That was probably the difference in settling down,” said Bingham. “We had a couple of frames when we couldn’t pot a ball and then I went on a four frame spurt when I couldn’t miss.
“I think when they make a mistake and you make a century, your opponent will start to second guess on 50/50 shots. It is like playing Ronnie, you know if you miss you are going to sit in your chair for the rest of the frame. My game is there and long may it continue.”
O’Connor said: “It is a bit disappointing not playing as well as I have all week. Stuart played well and you can’t say much when he has made four centuries. He is a deserved winner and good luck to him.
“Beating Kyren Wilson, Ding and John Higgins, has sent my confidence through the roof at the moment. As long as I can avoid playing how I did today then I can compete with anyone.”