STUART BINGHAM said he was satisfied with a return to form in Wales – despite Sunday’s thrilling final defeat to Shaun Murphy.
Ball Run beat David Gilbert (4-1), Judd Trump (4-2), Ryan Day (4-2) and Joe Perry (6-5) to set up a best-of-19 clash for the World Grand Prix title with Murphy – the man he beat in last year’s World Championship final.
And the showdown with The Magician did not disappoint as the friends slugged it out to go all-square at 9-9 before Murphy came out on top in a tense decider to claim the £100,000 prize and some payback for his Crucicle heartache.
Bingham, who made the long drive back from Llandudno with the consolation of a £35,000 runner-up cheque on Monday morning, said: “He just potted two unbelievable reds in the last frame and I did not get a chance.
“I felt like I was hanging onto his coat tails all day and I don’t know how I got it to 9-9 – but I dug in.
“But all in all it was a great week and I managed to show that never-say-die attitude that is important. Like when I was 3-0 down to Joe Perry in the semi final.
“And you need that if you are going to win things.”
Bingham also had an outrageous piece of bad luck to see a black hit the back of a corner pocket and somehow stay out with the game at 7-7 (you can watch footage below). It was a pivotal moment but the Basildon pro remained philosophical.
He said: “Things did not always go for me, like that black jumping out of the pocket, and there were lots of kicks over the week. But these things happen and I think the luck for any player evens itself out over a season.
“And I had a great time in Llandudno where I reached the semis last year and the final this time so overall the tournament was a success.
“And I am happy that my A-game came back in bits and bobs but my solid B-game was there for all to see.
“The important thing now is for my best form to come in five weeks time when I am heading to the Crucible.”
Bingham flies out to China on Monday, March 21, to take part in some exhibition matches before he competes at the China Open (March 29 – April 3), where he starts against Cao Yupeng.
Bingham also took time to remember the late Vic Harris on the one-year anniversary of his death on March 10.
Former Essex-based player and coach Harris, who had cancer when he passed away at 69, helped develop the games of many local stars, including Bingham.
Ball Run said: “He used to work at Leigh-on-Sea snooker club and he helped me out earlier in my career.
“He was a family friend for 20 years and his death was keenly felt by many in the snooker community.”