Bingham aiming to ‘hit the ground running’ in the next campaign after season to forget

STUART BINGHAM admitted it had been a season to forget despite some encouraging results – and vowed to “hit the ground running” in the next campaign.

Ballrun made the final of the European Masters in October, losing to Judd Trump, and the final of the Romanian Masters in March, where he lost out to Ryan Day.

After his return from a three-month suspension for breaking betting rules, the Basildon-based pro also made the quarter-finals of the Gibraltar Open and China Open this spring, and knocked in the fourth maximum of his career at the latter event.

But Bingham, who finished the term ranked world No 13, admits it was year he will want to forget overall.

He said: “It is hard to reflect on it without thinking about the ban, but what happened either side is positive for me.

“Working with Terry Griffiths this year was good and I look forward to doing that again next season.

“So I have things to work on and I am hoping to hit the ground running after having a little bit of time off.

“I’ve got some exhibitions over the next couple of weeks but I’ll just enjoy the time off with my family and spending some time at our caravan.

“So in terms of performances I think it was a good season really without the ban, which puts a sour taste on it.”

The 2015 world champion saw his tilt at snooker’s biggest prize in 2018 ended by a first-round 10-7 defeat to Jack Lisowski and felt he had just run into a man in great form.

He said: “I don’t think Jack could’ve played much better in the circumstances. It was an open game and he hardly missed a ball really, simple as that.

“I didn’t play badly but missed a couple of balls when it mattered, but all in all I just came up against someone who was hot on the day.”

Ballrun also praised the quality of this year’s Crucible final, which saw Welshman Mark Williams claim a thrilling victory over fellow veteran John Higgins.

He added: “The clearance John Higgins made at 17-15 was just unbelievable. And for Williams to then after that put together his break was just amazing.

“He’s obviously had a good season and topped it off with his third world championship, so well done to him.”

Bingham is now looking forward to a well-earned break from the game before returning to competitive action in a qualifier for the Riga Masters on July 2.