Bingham, Trump To Contest Premier League Final

World number one Judd Trump will play Stuart Bingham in the final of the 2012 Premier League tonight, after both came through deciding-frame finishes on Saturday evening against Neil Robertson and John Higgins respectively…

Semi-Final 1: John Higgins 4 – 5 Stuart Bingham
13- 71 (Bingham 45), 44-74 (Higgins 36, Bingham 30), 94-22 (Higgins 58, 36), 81-0 (Higgins 81), 0-132 (Bingham 117), 65-52 (Higgins 33), 76-50 (Higgins 76, Bingham 50), 8-74 (Bingham 74), 30-71 (Higgins 34, Bingham 57)

Semi-Final 2: Judd Trump 5-4 Neil Robertson
65-77 (Robertson 55), 14-68 (Robertson 31), 54-15 (Trump 32), 0-87 (Robertson 33), 60-58 (Robertson 30), 81-0 (Trump 37, 44), 56-29, 45-78 (Trump 30, Robertson 58), 71-16 (Trump 38).

First man through to tomorrow’s final was Stuart Bingham, who came through an absorbing semi-final against four-time world champion John Higgins at the Grimsby Auditorium.

It was Stuart who made the stronger start, capitalising on a couple of mistakes from his opponent to lead 2-0, before Higgins showed his class with runs of 58 and 81 to draw level.

With no interval in the Premier League, Bingham responded to move into the lead at 3-2 with the only century break of the evening, before what looked to be a crucial turning point as he missed a chance to lead 4-2 and Higgins cleared to level again, in a manner that somehow only Higgins can.

As the Scot again snatch the next to lead for the first time at 4-3, the situation looked ominous for Stuart, but when the chance was presented to him to force a decider following an early miss from Higgins, he held his nerve to make 74, before eventually winning through to secure a well-deserved win.

Higgins will have been disappointed to have lost the match, he played very well for much of it and seemingly could not buy a good kiss or a split all evening, but full credit to Stuart for his response from 3-4, which given how the previous couple of frames had unfolded, was hugely impressive.

The second match meanwhile proved to be a surprisingly turgid affair, both players seemingly far from happy with the table and many of the frames coming beginning with reds being sent up into the baulk area, resulting in scrappy affairs.

The match had started in a dramatic manner as Robertson, having looked to have it in the bag, committed three fouls to give Trump a chance to steal it. Judd though could not pot the final black, and with Neil adding the second frame in little time at all, the Australian found himself 2-0 up.

As the next two were shared however, the match became scrappier still and Judd began to gain the upper hand, winning the next three frames to turn the scoreline around lead 4-3.

Though Neil was able to force a decider thanks to an early 58 in the next, it would be Trump who would emerge victorious, the concession coming at around 1:25am as Neil pretended to carry on, only to turn to the crowd, ask if we were ready for bed and then offering the handshake.

It was not a classic, but again it was further evidence of Judd’s increasing all-round ability and fighting qualities to come through such a scrappy affair.

Looking ahead to the final, on paper Judd will be favourite, but on the evidence of yesterday’s semi-finals at least, do not be surprised if Stuart is able to win his third title of the season.

Again I will be at the venue in Grimsby, so follow me on Twitter for frame-by-frame updates…