sport

Maguire and Bingham all square

Stuart Bingham battled back to be level at four frames apiece with Stephen Maguire in the Welsh Open final in Newport.

Bingham, 36, had knocked out defending champion Ding Junhui in the semi-finals, but found himself on the back foot as Maguire surged into a 2-0 lead.

The pair shared the next four frames, but the Essex player strung together two high-quality breaks to take the seventh and eighth frames and set up an intriguing evening session.

Bingham had made a nightmare start as he unfortunately found himself with no shot on a colour after successfully taking on a long red.

The Englishman failed with seven separate attempts to find the yellow via two cushions - conceding 28 points in the process - which Maguire followed with a 71 break to take the opening frame.

Maguire, looking for his first ranking event title since 2008, opened the second frame in similar fashion by compiling 62 to make it 2-0, with Bingham having barely enjoyed any time at the table.

He pulled a frame back after coming out on top in a tense safety battle, but Maguire quickly reasserted his authority with the first century break of the match, having kicked off his 114 with a well-judged double into the right-middle pocket.

Bingham regrouped at the mid-session interval and again trimmed the deficit to one frame with a run of 79 in the fifth, but again Maguire responded by compiling 110 in the next frame.

The high standard continued with Bingham racking up a 55 and a clearance of 78 in the seventh frame, before opening up a 56-0 lead in the eighth.

Maguire had a chance to pinch it, but his failure to land a testing long red allowed Bingham to level the match.