Stuart Bingham has won the 2014 Shanghai Masters after thrashing Mark Allen 10-3 in China.
The final didn’t live up to any expectation and was a dour affair throughout that suffered from a lot of drawn out, scrappy frames that were bereft of good play.
England’s Bingham didn’t play that well himself but he didn’t have to as he benefited from a surprisingly weak challenge from his opponent.
The signs of a runaway victory appeared early on when the 38 year-old raced into a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval with breaks of 99 and 68.
Allen was on his way to a maximum break in the fifth frame before he missed a thin black off the spot on 97, but getting a frame on the board seemed to settle his nerves and he stole the next on the black to reduce his arrears to only two.
But Bingham was able to claim two out of the last three frames in the afternoon session to boast an important three frame cushion.
If ‘Ballrun’ had thought that Allen was going to come out a different player in the second session he was wrong, and if anything the Northern Irishman was worse.
Allen had chances in every frame but Bingham kept pinching them at the death and a cool 81 in the 13th frame earned him the £85,000 first prize.
It’s a remarkable achievement for Bingham, who, after a long career without much success, has contested four ranking event finals in the last three years – losing two and now winning two.
The 2011 Australian Open champion is one of the hardest workers on the Main Tour and simply loves playing the game, often competing in the smaller pro-ams that many of the other top stars wouldn’t dream of participating in.
A second ranking event trophy is just reward for all of his efforts to reach the pinnacle of the sport and proves that his maiden triumph was no fluke.
For Allen it will be huge disappointing, particularly with the way he performed on the day.
However, it has been an excellent month for the 28 year-old from Antrim following runs to the final of the Riga Open and Paul Hunter Classic as well – the latter of which he won.
But this moment belongs to Bingham and, even though the final was played in good spirit, I’m sure he’ll be delighted to get one over on his old rival who once claimed that the Essex man had “no bottle.”