Ronnie O'Sullivan knocked out

  • Last Updated: December 6 2013, 8:19 GMT

Stuart Bingham was perfectly happy to spoil Ronnie O'Sullivan's 38th birthday after finally getting one over on the world champion.

Ronnie O'Sullivan: Defeated by Stuart Bingham
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Defeated by Stuart Bingham

Two sparkling centuries after the mid-session interval could not save the 'Rocket' from a defeat in the quarter-finals of the williamhill.com UK Championship in York.

Bingham won 6-4 to set up a clash with Neil Robertson, while Mark Selby will face Ricky Walden in the other semi-final.

Selby won a late-night nail-biter against Barry Hawkins while Walden beat Mark Allen.

Bingham's win was only his second in 10 career meetings with O'Sullivan, who beat him in the recent Champion of Champions final and in this year's World Championship quarter-final.

And asked if he felt guilty for playing party-pooper, Bingham smiled: "Definitely not - he's ruined my career!

"I wanted to shake his hand after playing him and go 'happy birthday', but it's probably not the best time."

O'Sullivan was keen to avoid any festivities in any case - and Bingham was evidently of the same mind as he ruthlessly took the opening two frames, the second with an excellent 131.

O'Sullivan pulled one back with a 59 but turned down a desperately tight last red in the next and Bingham got over the line to lead 3-1.

O'Sullivan stayed in touch with 135 in frame six and 127 in the ninth but after a safety battle in the next, Bingham put the match to bed.

O'Sullivan admitted: "It just goes to show you that centuries only win you frames, they don't win you matches.

"I gave it my best and that's all you can do. I just came up against a better guy today.

"He's had a brilliant season, winning the PTC in Asia, he got to the final of the (Champion of Champions), he's now in the semis of our second most important event, he got to the quarters of the World last year, he won the Premier League, won Australia.

"You can't get those results if you're not able to perform under pressure."

Robertson beat Stephen Maguire 6-2, meaning Bingham will tackle the world number one having beaten the world champion.

But the Basildon player said: "You've got to beat everyone in front of you.

"I've got not a bad record against Neil and I'll be pretty confident. It's my first UK semi-final and I'm going to jinx myself here but I've got a good semi-final record."

Robertson, who made a superb 128 in frame six but otherwise struggled once more with conditions on table two, acknowledged: "With how he's played, you'd probably make Stuart favourite.

"Stuart will fancy his chances. He's beaten the best player in the world and he's beaten me the last couple of times, so he won't be scared of me."

Robertson took a 2-0 lead after Maguire potted an unwanted red while needing snookers, and completed a clean sweep before the interval.

Maguire pulled one back but Robertson re-asserted his authority with that 128 clearance and though the Scot got another frame on the board, a tight eighth went Robertson's way.

In the evening, Selby went the distance before finally defeating Hawkins shortly before midnight.

Hawkins beat Shaun Murphy in a similarly late finish to his last-16 match but could not repeat the feat.

He led 3-1 at the interval, matching the tournament high break with 142 in the fourth frame.

A surprising miss on a red in frame seven gave Selby a lifeline and he pulled level at 5-5 with a 77 break to force a decider.

Hawkins needed a snooker and had a free ball amid a high-quality exchange on the green, but missed a difficult pink and left an easy green for Selby to get over the line.

Hawkins said: "He gave me a chance with the free ball but it was awkward cueing with the rest over the blue.

"I missed a red over the hole to go 5-2 which was the turning point, the white was on the cushion and you can miss them if you don't cue them right."

Selby added: "Barry should have been 5-2 up and if he goes 5-2 up he probably wins the game, I just wasn't on my game."

On the other table, Allen was hampered by a problem with the ferrule of his cue and his highest break before the interval was just 20, Walden leading 3-1 with breaks of 66, 57 and 54.

Allen made 62 to take the sixth but Walden knocked in a 96 in frame seven and a tricky 32 to the pink to win the match.


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