Kettering's Kyren holds his nerve to seal last-eight spot at the Masters

Kyren Wilson edged out Stuart Bingham in a thrilling encounter at the Alexandra Palace

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 7:04 am
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 7:10 am
Kettering's Kyren Wilson in action at the Alexandra Palace. Picture courtesy of World Snooker Tour

Kettering’s Kyren Wilson prevented history from repeating itself as he held his nerve and held off a Stuart Bingham fightback to win a thrilling opening-round clash 6-5 at the Cazoo Masters.

The match mirrored Wilson and Bingham’s other Masters meeting at Alexandra Palace in 2020. On that occasion Bingham rallied from 4-1 down to win 6-4 and went on to win the title.

The Essex cueman mounted a similar fightback this evening, but was eventually edged out by Kettering’s Wilson, who will now renew hostilities with 2019 Masters and Crucible winner Judd Trump in the last eight.

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Wilson made a superb start as he fired in breaks of 57, 82 and 79 to move into a 3-0 lead but Bingham remained in touch with a run of 96 ensuring he pulled a frame back before the mid-session interval.

Wilson extended his lead to 4-1 with a break of 83 but the match turned in a dramatic sixth frame when, with Wilson looking on course for a frame-winning break, he honourably declared a foul on himself on the final red. Bingham pounced with a break of 20 to make it 4-2.

Bingham then won the next two with a break of 139 making it 4-4 and, after Wilson had regained the lead, Bingham knocked in another century visit of 132 to force the decider.

It was Bingham who had the first chance in the final frame, but he spurned a straightforward pink to the left middle on 31.

Wilson edged his way back into the frame and it was decided by a battle on the yellow, which the 30-year-old Kettering star sunk with a fine long-range pot before clinching his quarter-final place on the pink.

“I thought it was a fantastic match to be a part of,” Wilson said.

“Feathering the white was a big turning point and that got Stuart back into the game. I was completely in control and sometimes these little things turn matches.

“Snooker is renowned for being a gentleman’s sport. Honesty is always the best policy. As I was going up to the white I wasn’t sure if I had touched it, but my initial instinct was to get up.

“What happened two years ago was really in my mind. I am a little bit stronger than I was then.

“I probably let it get to me because he started to get the crowd on his side.

“The same thing happened this time and the crowd got on his side. I am delighted I managed to keep myself in the present and keep myself composed to go on and get the win.

“Judd has done the same as me today to win a decider (he beat Mark Allen 6-5). We will both feel like we have an extra life after that. I will really look forward to the match.”

The last-eight encounter between Wilson and Trump will be played tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.