Shaun Murphy defeated Stuart Bingham in an incredible rollercoaster of an encounter at Venue Cymru to conclude an eventful tournament.
The good, the bad and the ugly of Shaun Murphy
The form player going into the final was Murphy, after dropping just four frames from 18 in the previous three rounds. The world number six continued that form as he shot into a 4-1 lead against Bingham. The pick of the bunch saw Murphy come from 49 points behind to win the second frame, as he cruised into the lead without setting any extensive breaks.
Though Murphy seemed to get complacent and a string of bad shots were to undo all his hard work. A mistake on the pink allowed Bingham to complete a comeback from 56-0 behind in the sixth frame, before a miss on the same colour in the seventh allows Bingham to close the gap to one frame. Murphy should have taken the eight frame but missed another straight forward shot, as Bingham went on to compile a 93 break to tie the game. Murphy could have been forgiven for thinking he was out of luck when Bingham potted a flukey blue to lead at the interval.
Murphy holds his nerve
Bingham won his fifth frame in a row as the evening session begun, but Murphy dug in to begin a comeback. A 52 break in a close eleventh frame took him back within one of Bingham, before drawing level with a couple of visits in the following frame. Bingham restored his advantage in the thirteenth, only for Murphy to fight back again with a 94 break, as the match continued to be too close to call.
Murphy looked to be on his way to taking the lead for the first time since the seventh frame but a lack of concentration gave Bingham the opportunity to go ahead himself. Yet as Bingham compiled his break, an extraordinarily bounce out from the black in one of the corner pockets gifted Murphy an 8-7 lead. Murphy had a similar advantage in the sixteenth frame and looked to be edging towards the trophy, only to make another costly error as Bingham stole the frame by 11 points to draw the match all square oncemore.
Murphy was not about to make the same mistake again, as he finally held his composure with the highest break of the match at 120, putting him just one step away from the title. Yet Bingham was not ready to throw in the towel as he capitalised on a poor Murphy safety to take the game to a final frame decider. After a handful of missed pots and poor positional shots by both players, it was Murphy who showed a touch of class, with an excellent long pot to set him on his way to a sixth major ranking trophy with a 10-9 victory in a match to remember.