Photo by Monique Limbos
Surprise finalist Stuart Bingham battled extremely well throughout the three weeks of this year's World Snooker Championship and held his nerve superbly to come through a deciding frame against Judd Trump in the semifinals.
In the final Bingham faced 2005 World Snooker champion Shaun Murphy who was looking to add a second major title to his season after winning The Masters four months ago.
The first and second sessions of the final were extremely high in quality from both players who produced a 50+ break in all but one frame, including four century breaks as Murphy took a slender 9-8 lead overnight.
When they resumed on Monday afternoon, it was Basildon's Bingham who stormed in to the lead, winning six of the next eight frames with runs of 87, 51, 112, 50, 87 and 86 to leave himself with a strong 14-11 lead heading in to the final session.
In what proved to be the crucial moment of the final, Bingham battled through to win an epic 64-minute frame to fight off Murphy's mini comeback and go 16-15 ahead, before sealing victory in style by winning the next two frames with runs breaks of 65, and a cool 88 in the last.
As well as picking up the winner's cheque of £300,000 and the famous trophy. 38-year-old Bingham becomes the third oldest winner of the World Snooker Championship title at the Crucible and moves up to an all-time high world ranking of two.
“When Shaun was coming back at me from 15-12 up, I thought it was me going to give the runner's up speech,” said Bingham. “It was that 64-minute frame to go 16-15 up that calmed me down and focused me towards the winning line.”
“To beat Shaun in the final tops everything off. It's been a long hard road to get to this point, but it was all worth it,” added the Shanghai Masters champion.
Murphy, who has now been defeated in two world finals since winning his first ranking title at the Crucible ten years ago, said: "It's been a great tournament for me, unfortunately it didn't finish the way I wanted it to.”
"As a snooker geek like Stuart is, there is not a player alive who deserves it more than him,” added Murphy.
The final was a fitting end to a wonderful three weeks at the Crucible where we have seen epic matches, tense deciders, a superb debutant in the form of Scotland's Anthony McGill, and an extremely well deserved winner in Bingham, all in all a great World Snooker Championship and I for one are already counting down the days until next year's event.
Click here to see all the results, scores and videos from the World Snooker Championship 2015.