Snooker - Bingham reigns over Higgins to reach Premier League final

Stuart Bingham executed a remarkable semi-final turnaround to edge out John Higgins and seal a spot against Judd Trump in the final of the Premier League in Grimsby.

The Englishman came back from 4-3 down against the Wizard of Wishaw to continue a dream debut campaign after he won Group A, while Judd Trump prevailed against Neil Robertson in a tight and long-running second semi-final.

“It’s unbelievable. To be in the final is unreal. I’m just delighted,” Bingham said.

“There was pressure – I felt nervous the whole way through. Playing John, without the rankings, is the best player in the world.

“To come through the match is great. I think everybody is happy it’s not a Higgins and Judd final, as that would be boring.”

Bingham started strong, breaking 45 in the opening frame and easily countering Higgins’s break of 36 in the second to pull ahead 2-0 and take his frame-winning run tally to 14.

It wasn’t for long though, and Higgins showed why he is four-time world champion by breaking 58 and 81 in the third and fourth frames respectively, winning both, and making an appearance on the scoreboard.

A whopping 132 break put Bingham back in front 3-2, and he looked to surge ahead by two in a neck-and-neck sixth frame until Higgins ground out a 65-52.

Higgins’s fightback mentality continued as he came from 50 points down to seal the seventh.

But the 36-year-old Bingham wasn’t flummoxed as he stole one back and make it 4-4. Nor was he rattled by a sudden-death decider in the final frame, breaking with a 57 to take it 71-30 and win the match.

"I’m very disappointed to have lost that," Higgins said. "I should have taken on a long blue in last frame and that was my chance when I missed that.

"The balls went against me and he was a little lucky getting on a red in the last frame but sometimes things go against you."

In the second semi-final Judd Trump fought it out with former world champion Neil Robertson.

Despite not making a break over 50 in the match and falling behind 3-1, Trump came out on top of his Aussie rival to win 5-4.

The first six frames ended evenly after Trump levelled the score at 3-3 via an 81-0 sixth frame.

That was followed by an epic seventh that lasted just under 39 minutes, despite just 85 points being scored in total.

Though eventually won by Trump, he dropped the eighth to the Australian after missing an easy pink, to take the match to a decider, which he wrapped up 71-16.

Trump will be up against fellow English player Bingham in the final on Sunday. The pair last faced each other in January, when Trump defeated Bingham 6-3 in the 2012 Masters rounds.

Of their seven encounters over the last five years, Trump has won five, Bingham has won one and they have drawn once.

The Premier League is a professional non-ranking tournament played in a round-robin format over a number of months.