Friday, 22 July 2011

Bringing the best out of Bingham

Stuart Bingham is enjoying the most successful week of his snooker career in Bendigo - but it's not been without controversy.

The Basildon potter and world number 17 may be renowned on the circuit as Mr nice guy but, this week, the gloves are off - and he's playing as well as ever.

In fact, he's in to the last four of a major ranking event for the first time in his career.

His quarter-final clash with Mark Allen today was dubbed as a grudge match following comments in the press from the Northern Ireland man where said: "There's a bit of history between us. We don't get on.

"It would be nice to send him back where he belongs."

It may have been nice, but Bingham was fired up and ran out a thoroughly deserved 5-3 winner  after scoring the heavier of the two players.

Bingham is the kind of player who lives and breathes the game. It was obvious his sterner practice regime over the summer paid its dividends, and that should have been case closed.

But Allen wasn't content on letting it lie. He felt the need to upload a picture of former Chelsea FC manager Avram Grant, likening his looks to Bingham, and commenting: "how'd I lose to this ugly fucker??"

Now don't get me wrong, I like a player to speak their mind. I love a bit of needle. But this beyond acceptable. There's nothing worse than every press conference being filled with the same safe-bet answers, but the line has now been crossed by Allen

Allen also said yesterday: "He doesn't like me because I told the truth in a press conference that he has no bottle, no balls, and as he threw away a match (second round of the World Championship v Ding, 2011) after leading 12-9."

That on the other hand, is perfectly fair game. It's often referred to in sport as the war of words, and has been employed by some of the best in history.

Allen has over-stepped the war of words.I'm sure he won't care but Allen has gone way down in my estimations this week.

Whether he likes Bingham or not, professionalism is not an option in my opinion.

He added after his defeat today: "I enjoyed this game more and hopefully that's me getting the bug back for practicing more. When I do I know I won't be losing again to people like Stuart."

That sounds like Allen is getting a little bit big for his boots, considering he's yet to win a major ranking event himself. And I'd also be quite interested in placing some money on Stuart being ranked above Mark by the end of the season.

Bingham won't care one bit though. He'll be loving it out there. Wins against Allen and revenge on Ding are sure impressive as he continues to rise the ranks, now up to number 12 in the world provisionally - and he's playing well enough to go on and win the Australian Open.

First, he'll have to come past Shaun Murphy, who hasn't been in bad form himself this week. He dashed the dreams of this week's dark horse, Matt Selt, with a 5-3 win. He'll take some beating

On the other side of the draw, world number one Mark Williams produced a great pressure break of 142 to beat fellow Welshman Dominic Dale in a decider, and he faces Ken Doherty, who beat Mark Selby and has been rolling back the years in Australia.

Reaching his first ranking semi-final since the China Cup in 2006, the Dubliner looks as comfortable as ever, and a million miles away from the player who admitted he nearly quite the game two years ago.

Bring on the semi-finals!

1 comment:

  1. yes he has overstepped the mark but a rebel that doesn't is a bit wet.

    he stood by what he said sometimes when i see players being nice in front of a press afterwords its all very false and sickening.

    let them play it out for real maybe in a few years they will become best buddies out of all of this.