STUART BINGHAM showed semi-final opponent Judd Trump he was in for a battle on his hands after taking an overnight lead after the opening session of their World Championship semi-final clash.
Trump, the bookmakers new firm favourite for the title following the exit of Ronnie O’Sullivan, will return to the Crucible on Friday trailing 5-3 after things did not go all his own way in the first session.
The Bristol star has dominated all three of his previous matches without being tested but tonight was the first time he was put under a bit of pressure as Bingham, fresh from beating O’Sullivan, rallied throughout the second half of the session.
But it was Trump who made the brighter start to proceedings as a run of 49 followed by a safety error from Bingham allowed him to go 1-0 up.
And Trump looked in control of the second frame until he missed a frame ball red on a run of 64. Any signs of a slow and nervy start from Bingham were put to bed early on as he brilliantly cleared with a 65 break to level at 1-1.
The next two frames were shared as they went into the mid-session interval at 2-2.
And Bingham took the lead for the first time following the restart after Trump missed the pink to the middle and in doing so left the final red over the middle pocket.
Trump looked firm favourite to level at 3-3 after making a break of 56 in the sixth frame but when a missed red was left over the centre pocket – Bingham cleared with a run of 74 to go 4-2 ahead.
The seventh frame saw Trump get back to winning ways with a break of 75. But Bingham ensured an overnight lead after making a break of 76 in the session’s final frame.
ORDER OF THE DAY ON FRIDAY
10am – Murphy vs Hawkins (6-2)
2.30pm – Trump vs Bingham (3-5)
7pm – Murphy vs Hawkins