Stuart Bingham breezed through last night’s Premier League Snooker fixtures and claimed a cheque for £16,000 – that’s going straight on his wedding!
Following the cancellation of the previous PLS round in Penzance amidst Stephen Lee’s suspension, Bingham’s match with Australia’s Neil Robertson was moved to yesterday’s night of snooker in Guildford, giving the crowd even more action than they bargained for. Bingham gladly entertained, thrashing both Robertson and planned opponent Mark Selby 6-0 in a fantastic display.
Bingham powered through the first match, watched by a lively crowd. Although it had started closely, Selby was unable to keep up and scored just 2 points between frames 2 and 5, watching Bingham rack up two centuries. The winner went on to do the same in the rescheduled Robertson match, beginning with a fantastic 135 break. Afterwards, Bingham was shocked at his fortune. He revealed his delight – “I’ve just beaten the world number one and a former world champion and I’ve hammered them really, so if I play like that in the semis I’ll be very hard to beat.” His victory with twelve winning frames and four centuries, each one worth £1000 a piece, will probably leave the future Mrs Bingham even happier, as the whitewash gives them the money to get married in Cyprus.
John Higgins was the other winner last night and his 4-2 victory against Judd Trump secured him access into the semi-finals of the Premier League playoffs. Group B has been interrupted with the suspension of Lee and Higgins’ match, surrounded by Bingham’s heroics, was a nervy affair. Nonetheless, he goes into next fortnight’s Doncaster derby against Peter Ebdon knowing that he is safely into the semis. He later thanked Ronnie O’Sullivan’s refusal to attend the competition as one reason he’s been able to get this far.
As Bingham, who only reached the last 32 of the previous leg of the European Tour, has finished all of his fixtures, British attention turns to Mark Allen and Judd Trump in Group B, who are identically poised and vying for the final playoff berth. Whoever wins
we lose is guaranteed to join Bingham, Higgins and one of Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson in the Grimsby semis. Trump is the highest-ranked competitor of the two, but in beating the world number one, Bingham has shown that the Premier League is wide open.