STUART BINGHAM started his bid to make up for his heartbreaking UK Championship semi-final defeat twelve months ago by thrashing Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon in the opening round in this year’s event.
The Basildon man. who lost 9-8 to Neil Robertson in a thrilling semi-final last year, was in fine form as he wheeled off six frames in no time to book his place in the last 64 stage of the competition against the Thailand star.
Breaks of 96, 102, 84, 74, 91 and 61 helped Bingham to a comfortable victory as he looks to win his second major of the season following his Shanghai Masters success in September.
The opening day of snooker’s second biggest event in the calendar was one to remember for 20-year-old talent Joel Walker who recorded a fine win over Alan McManus who has been one of the season’s most consistent players so far.
Walker, ranked 105th in the world, won the encounter in convincing style, closing the match out with breaks of 79, 66 and 94.
Former world champion Peter Ebdon was forced to battle all the way after winning a deciding frame shoot-out against Ross Muir. Ebdon, who won the UK Championship in 2006, came back from 2-0 and 4-3 down to win.
Barry Hawkins comfortably reached the second with a 6-1 win over Ashley Carty and recent European Tour finalist Robert Milkins kept up his fine form with a whitewash win over Michael Leslie.
And former world champion Graeme Dott also booked his place through to the last 64 stage with a 6-2 win over Alexander Ursenbache.
Other results from UK Championship Day 1
Dechawat POOMJAENG 6-2 Andrew NORMAN
Michael HOLT 6-1 Zak SURETY
Anthony HAMILTON 6-5 Craig STEADMAN
Marcus CAMPBELL 6-4 Scott DONALDSON
Nigel BOND 6-3 Stuart CARRINGTON
Kurt MAFLIN 6-1 Chris NORBURY