In York last year Stuart Bingham brought Ronnies hopes of lifting a fifth UK title to an end at the quarter final stage and for long periods today it looked as if history was going to repeat itself as Bingham put O'Sullivan under the most severe pressure.
It has been a feature of the week that Ronnie has not been getting off the the fast starts we are accustomed to and it was the case again here as Bingham quickly established a 2-0 lead,That really should have become 3-0 ,but Ronnie managed to clinch it to get off the mark.
Any disappointment Bingham may have felt though quickly evaporated as he took the next two with runs of 73 & 137 to lead 4-1.From here Ronnie needed something to start happening quickly and with a bit of help from Stuart perhaps seeing the finish line too early, he managed to eventually win frame six to make it 4-2.
This was not the "cueball on a string"Ronnie we are used to seeing,which only go to make the breaks of 68 & 67 he made to level the match up at 4-4 all the impressive.He also had the first chance in the next,but he pushed the boat out a little too far in going for a difficult shot to nothing and Bingham edged ahead again at 5-4.
Cometh the hour though cometh the man and Ronnie produced his best snooker of the match to knock in breaks of 117 & 94 and seal his place in the final with a hard fought 6-5 win.
In the other semi final it seemed as though Judd Trumps serene progress through the tournament was set to continue ,but boy was he made to sweat by Stephen Maguire,before falling over the line 6-4.
As I said,that scoreline looked highly unlikely as Trump took the first four frames to give him a 4-0 interval lead.Maguire got off the mark in the next ,but when Trump knocked in a 100 break in frame six he stood one away from a place in the final at 5-1.
Maguire won the next with a 67 and from here the tension really started to ratchet up. Trump started to miss a few of the balls and Maguire dug in to take the next two and close within one at 5-4.The tenth frame was one of those frames that gets people shouting at the screen as we eventually got to a battle on the green with the score tied at 45-45.The decisive moment came when Trump successfully snookered Maguire on the green and in the failed attempt the white went in off.
From here Trump potted the balls he needed to book his place in his second UK final.
So what can we expect in the final? Well there is no doubt that purely on form during the tournament Judd would be the favourite,but such things go out the window when its Ronnie you are playing.It is often said too that if you are to have a chance of beating Ronnie you need to get off to a good start,but as we've seen this week that in itself is not enough,you also need to outbattle him.It will be fascinating to see how this one plays out in the opening session.
Of course these two met in the final of the Champion of Champions event last month with Ronnie coming out on top in one of the best finals we've seen in a long long time. If tomorrows clash proves to be as good we are in for a treat!