Stuart Bingham aiming to repeat Ronnie O’Sullivan performance for Championship League glory


Stuart Bingham is favourite to win the Championship League (Picture: PA)

Stuart Bingham ousted Ronnie O’Sullivan from the Championship League on Tuesday and knows he’ll have to repeat that level of performance to win the title on Thursday.

Bingham needed to beat the Rocket 3-0 in his final second round group match and he did just that, handing O’Sullivan his first defeat of the event in some style.

The whitewash win saw Ball-Run edge ahead of Sam Craigie at the top of the group and head into Thursday’s final group alongside Ryan Day, Luca Brecel and Ben Woollaston.

It is not a line-up many would have predicted at the start of the event, with the likes of Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby also falling by the wayside, but Bingham knows he’ll have to be at his best again to see off his three opponents.

‘I knew I needed to win 3-0 to top the group,’ said Bingham after progressing to the final group.

‘I took my chances. Who would have thought after my first game between me and Sam, it was like we were struggling to pot a ball between us but I got it going when it mattered.

‘I am over the moon to get through. Ronnie had a tough green [in the second frame] but I still had to clear up and my own game is there.

‘I took my chances when they came and I’m happy with the performance. I have three more games now on Thursday and I’ll have to play like that to have any chance.’

None of the four finalists won all three of their second round games, but Day and Brecel did emerge from their groups without defeat.

Day was especially impressive in his first match of Wednesday afternoon as he dispatched world champion Judd Trump 3-0, before draws with Dave Gilbert and Barry Hawkins were enough to progress.

‘I dropped into the zone as they call it and played lovely and felt great all day,’ said the Welshman. ‘It has been a long time since anybody has played competitive snooker so I think the break might have done me good and given me a bit of a boost.

‘I felt okay with my game in general but I didn’t really enjoy going away and playing, which is strange, as that’s something I have never really struggled for but I think the lockdown has helped me get a bit of that back and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.’

The final group begins at 3pm on Thursday live on ITV4.

MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan wants five more years of lockdown as he crashes out of Championship League

MORE: Judd Trump: Fans don’t make a difference, I don’t care where the World Championship is played

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