Well…what a final that was! Stuart ‘Ball-run’ Bingham defeated Shaun ‘The Magician’ Murphy in a 33-frame thriller, and boy, did he deserve it! Bingham, who rises to number 2 in the world rankings, shocked 5-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, and World Number 6 Judd Trump on the way to picking up the £300,000 top prize. It’s fair to say that ‘Ball-run’ Bingham had the run of his life…
As it happened…
First session (Murphy – Bingham)
The Magician got off to a magical start, claiming the first 3 frames to lead from an understandably nervy Bingham. Soon to settle down, Bingham responded with the session’s only century (105) and clawed back the deficit to get to within 1 frame. Murphy extended his lead once more with a tremendous break of 90 to lead by 2. The remaining 2 frames fell into the hands of Bingham which would see the pair level at 4 frames a piece heading into Sunday’s evening session.
- 103-44 (68), 69-51 (59), 74-5 (65), 0-105 (105), 15-68 (56), 90-0 (90), 7-55, 30-73 (65)
Murphy got off to an electric start and secured the first 4 frames with 2 centuries including the highest break of the match (121)…so far. Resilient as ever, Bingham won the next 3 frames and trumped Murphy in the highest frame stakes with a fantastic break of 123. Leading by 1, Murphy clinched the penultimate frame of the session before Bingham bounced back to see Sunday’s play end with Murphy leading by 9 frames to 8.
- 74-57 (Murphy 74, Bingham 57), 106-1 (106), 121-14 (121), 97-41 (51), 1-76 (76), 7-129 (123), 0-113 (89), 76-0 (76), 22-67 (53)
This time it was Bingham’s turn to be quick off the mark as he rattled off the first 4 frames to lead for the first time in the match at 12 frames to 9. Bingham maintained his composure, as well as his lead to head into the final session with a 3 frame advantage over Murphy.
- 4-87 (87), 40-68 (51), 0-112 (112), 23-95 (50), 80-4 (59), 0-87 (87), 84-0 (84), 7-86 (57)
Murphy worked his magic once again to secure 4 of the first 5 frames and to get him onto level terms at 15 frames a piece. The next frame would be a big one, not just in importance, but duration. Murphy secured an early points advantage but would find himself snookered on the yellow, courtesy of Mr. Bingham. The magician seemed to be running low on trickery and after conceding 30 points in fouls, eventually hit the yellow. In what can only be described as an epic frame, it was Bingham that prevailed to win one of the longest tactical encounters in Crucible history. Following on from undoubtedly the most important frame of the match, Bingham managed to maintain his momentum and won the next to get to within 1 of the Championship. On the brink of his biggest win Bingham masterfully kept his composure, and with a break of 88, sealed the deal. Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Stuart Bingham, Bet Fred 2015 World Champion.
- 73-6, 6-102 (102), 75-55 (75), 68-29 (64), 76-0, 56-80, 3-68 (55), 1-88 (88)
Good thing’s come to those who wait…
Bingham, 38, became the oldest World Champion since 1978 and goes down in history books as the oldest first time winner. Stephen Feeney, Bingham’s coach, said that despite being relatively old for a snooker player, he is sure to win more titles:
“He’ll be up for defending this, he’ll want to win more. His age is no issue. I told Stuart five years ago I’d turn him into a winner and a world champion and it’s just awesome. He’s such a talent.”
A deserving winner…
Gracious in defeat, Shaun Murphy praised Bingham’s character both on and off the table:
“It’s funny, I will probably feel the disappointment tomorrow, but you know, I am delighted for Stuart. He is one of the nicest guys you could meet. He played like a winner all through the match. He loves snooker and he fully deserves this.”
What dreams are made of…
Words with the main man himself:
“I was thinking loads of things when the final started, I felt overwhelmed but there came a point when I thought to myself ‘yeah, I can do this’. I just want to make sure now that I am a good role model as World Champion. I am proof that if you stick at it, that your dream come true. My manager won’t like this, but I could easily donate that money because it doesn’t mean anything to me. Just to put my hands on that trophy, seeing all the names on it, that’s just everything. It means so much.”
Inspired words after an inspired performance, congratulations Bingham, you deserved it!
World Snooker 2015