RONNIE O’Sullivan dramatically fought back from the brink of defeat to reach Sunday’s UK Championship final – and in doing so piled more semi-final heartbreak on Stuart Bingham.
The Rocket looked in huge trouble when he fell 4-1 and 5-3 behind against Bingham who looked set to put his heartbreaking final frame semi-final defeat last year to Neil Robertson well and truly behind him.
But O’Sullivan produced a stunning comeback to win 6-5 and move just one win away from winning snooker’s second biggest ranking event for the fifth time.
O’Sullivan will face either Judd Trump or Stephen Maguire in the £150,000 grand final.
Bingham made the perfect start in his quest to reach his first UK final as he took the first two frames before O’Sullivan came back from behind to win the third frame on the colours.
But Bingham continued to dominate as breaks of 73 and 13 either side of the mid-session interval put him into a commanding 4-1 lead.
Under the most pressure in the tournament, O’Sullivan responded brilliantly as breaks of 62, 67 and 68 got him back level at 4-4.
Bingham stopped the rot with a 53 break in frame nine to go back in front but O’Sullivan hit back again with a brilliant 117 to force the decider.
The final frame saw Bingham go for a long-range red which was narrowly missed before O’Sullivan made 34 before running out of position.
After a brief safety exchange, O’Sullivan went boldly for a mid-range red to a top corner, slotted it home and went on to make a match-winning 94 to seal the win.