After an exciting week of snooker at Venue Cymru, the final four remained as the tournament started to separate the men from the boys with the semi-finals contested over 11 frames.
Brilliant Bingham shows grit and guts
The first match saw world number 2 Stuart Bingham take on compatriot and world number 10 Joe Perry. Bingham had been out-of-sorts in the previous two months but was beginning to re-find his form in the last few days. His opponent though would have been full of confidence after playing some scintillating snooker in the opening rounds. It was Perry who drew first blood, taking the first two frames with relative ease, including an 82 break in the first. Bingham looked to have clawed his way back into the match on the third frame when he made a 58 break, only for Perry to beat him to the crucial black and take a 3-0 lead.
Yet Bingham is a classy competitor and he showed his grit and spirit by taking the next three frames, without playing any riveting snooker, to draw level in the match. The seventh frame could have blown Bingham's confidence when he recovered after a 62 break from Perry to score 60 of his own, only to falter on the deciding black ball to go 4-3 down. Though the determination of the experienced world number 2 did not disappear, as he put together a 97 break to go level again. Perry responded with another frame of his own to put himself one away from the final, only for Bingham to grit his teeth oncemore to produce two frames without conceding a point to win an epic contest 6-5.
Can Stuart stop Shaun?
Shaun Murphy has been in excellent touch this week, conceding just one frame from 13, but China's Ding Junhui gave him a much more complex proposition. The pair shared the spoils in the early stages, finding themselves locked at 2-2. The highlight came in the fourth frame when Murphy produced the highest break of the semi-finals with a 110. Yet Ding continued to show his class as restored his lead at 3-2.
However, the man from China was to see very little of the table in the rest of the match, scoring just 34 points in the following three frames, allowing Murphy to take the lead for the first time and open up a clear two frame advantage. Ding offered more in the ninth frame but a 66 break from the Englishman saw him comfortably through to Sunday's final - in what should be an exciting contest.