Stuart Bingham will carry a 5-3 lead over Ali Carter into this evening’s final session of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace.
Regardless of the result there will be a new name on the Paul Hunter Trophy at the close of play, with both players making their first appearance in the final of this event.
There are a potential 11 frames remaining this evening, with the first to ten picking up the £250,000 top prize.
Carter is seeking a maiden Triple Crown title, having been World Championship runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2008 and 2012. Victory for Bingham would be a second in snooker’s big three events, after his stunning World Championship win in 2015.
Carter, nicknamed the Captain, got off to a flying start this afternoon. He fired in a break of 126 to take the opening frame
Bingham immediately responded with a contribution of 75 to restore parity. They then traded frames to head into the mid-session locked together at 2-2.
When they returned, four-time ranking event winner Carter made a break of 93 to edge in front at 3-2.
Carter gained an opportunity to double his advantage when he came from snookers required to have a chance on the colours in the sixth frame. However, he missed the brown, allowing Bingham to eventually win on the black to make it 3-3.
Bingham then stepped up to claim the final two frames of the afternoon to secure his 5-3 lead. They will return to play the match to its conclusion at 7pm.