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Stuart Bingham is on top of the world at the Crucible

By John Skilbeck

Published 05/05/2015

Stuart Bingham reacts as he comes close to making a 147 break in the final match against Shaun Murphy during day seventeen of the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 4, 2015. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Stuart Bingham reacts as he comes close to making a 147 break in the final match against Shaun Murphy during day seventeen of the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 4, 2015. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Stuart Bingham completed an astonishing transition from journeyman to king of the Crucible as he brilliantly beat Shaun Murphy to take the Betfred World Championship title.

The 38-year-old from Basildon defied expectations to see off Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump to reach his first final in Sheffield, and pulled off a stunning 18-15 triumph, finishing with a sparkling break of 88 as wife Michelle watched on with a huge smile across her face.

It made him the oldest world champion since Ray Reardon, who won aged 45 in 1978.

Bingham showed the composure of a player who had been playing Crucible finals for many years, rather than one who in eight previous visits had reached the quarter-final stage only once, which was the reality.

He trailed 3-0 and 8-4, but crucially got back to 9-8 behind after Sunday's play, and as Murphy faltered he swept ahead yesterday afternoon, creaming off the first four frames to go 12-9 in front.

When the match reached 15-12 yesterday evening, Murphy had problems, and he trailed 55-0 in the next frame.

But Murphy rallied and levelled the score at 15-15 after taking three frames in a row.

Murphy gave away 38 points in fouls in the next frame. Eventually, after 63 minutes and 31 seconds, Bingham fired in the pink to nudge 16-15 ahead.

And it was just one frame required when he made 55 in taking the next, with Murphy then handing Bingham a golden chance to complete his triumph.

Going for broke by taking on a long red, Murphy missed it by a large margin and Bingham completed his greatest win.

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