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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Welsh Open Semi Final round up + Final preview

Stuart Bingham will square off against Stephen Maguire tomorrow over the best of 17 frames to decide who will be crowned Welsh Open Champion 2013 after a thrilling semi finals day in Newport.

It's funny how a players whole career path can change on one good tournament. Up to last season Bingham had toiled away on the circuit for many years with moderate success, but his whole career changed when he fought back against Mark Wiliams to win the 2011 Australian Open.That win seemed to spark something in Stuart and he has been a different animal ever since.Gone are the days where he showed promise in matches only to let it slip,now he is someone who is not afraid to get over the line.This was evident in his match against Neil Robertson during the week and again today.

Coming in this afternoon Ding was many peoples favourite to retain his title having steamrollered his way to the semi finals playing some of his best snooker of the season but it was Bingham who started off the better taking an early 2-0 lead.That then became 3-1 at the interval and with the next two also shared the score was now 4-2.It was here where Ding seemed to find an extra gear and he won the next three to now lead 5-4.The momentum was now with the Chinese but the 2013 version of Stuart Bingham doesn't buckle under pressure.he leveled with a fine 93 in the next before he took the most of his chance in the last after Ding failed to make the most of an opening,sealing victory with a superb 108.

Bingham goes into this final hoping to lift his fourth title of the season having already claimed two Asian PTC's and the Premier League but things couldn't be more different for his opponent who has been largely struggling for form of late,Indeed unbelievably should he win this will be Maguires first full ranking title for 5 years.That is way too long a wait for a man many were tipping at one stage to be perhaps the games dominant player.

One fault people always find with Maguire is the fact that he always wears his heart on his sleeve.I have always felt though that that works both ways,yes it gives his opponent a lift when he see's he is struggling, but on the other side,when he is really up for it his focus must be very intimidating.

Tonight was certainly one of his going nights as he recovered from 2-0 to take five in a row to lead 5-2.Trump had shown signs this week that he was getting back to something approaching his best but this was a display as flat as anything he produced of late.That was until Maguire ran out of position when seemingly clearing up for a 6-2 win.Trump came in to pull that one back and then in no time at all closed to 5-4.Trump was now flying and looked set to  force a decider when he lead 50-0 in the next, but a poor safety allowed Maguire the chance to counter and he did enough to seal the win 6-4

So what can we expect tomorrow then. Well certainly we have a clash of two in form players and this one could be a a real thriller. I don't normally sit in the fence when it comes to calling a winner but I really can't separate these two.One thing that is for sure is we wont have a run away winner in this one.Lets hope we are treated to a high quality encounter.I can't wait



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