Higgins ousts Bingham after phone controversy, Yan crushes Robertson
Stuart Bingham was left fuming after a mobile phone went off during his last-16 encounter against John Higgins at the UK Championship, a match he lost 6-4.
Higgins, a three-time UK Championship winner, made runs of 93, 78, 58, 61 and 50 to fight back from two frames down to seal progression.
Bingham, in fact, led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 but the Wizard of Wishaw produced some gutsy snooker to seal victory over the 2015 world champion.
However, the pivotal moment of the match came when in the ninth frame with Bingham’s hand on the table, leading 46-18, a spectator’s phone rang, and while the 43-year-old attempted to compose himself, he missed the rudimentary red.
A fuming Bingham gestured to the crowd as he walked back to his seat where he watched on as Higgins cleared to put himself to within one frame of the quarter-finals.
“It is a joke. It is ruining people’s livelihoods,” a raging Bingham said afterwards. “People forgetting to turn their phones off is a joke.”
" [If the phone did not go off] I am 5-4 up, and I would have a couple of chances to get over the line."
However, it was Higgins who progressed sealing the 10th and final frame on the back of a 50 break to set up a quarter-final showdown with Yan Bingtao, who beat two-time UK Championship winner Neil Robertson 6-1.
Yan,19, raced into a five-frame lead on the back of runs of 66, 74 and 56 but his nerves began to fray as the world number 20 tried to close the last-16 encounter out.
The Riga Masters winner looked set to seal a whitewash in the sixth frame but Robertson managed to fend off that ignominy despite needing six snookers and had a chance to cut the arrears further in the seventh frame.
However, when the Thunder from Down Under left the black on to the yellow pocket, Yan held his nerve to secure a quarter-final showdown with Higgins.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mark Allen fought back from 3-1 down to beat Kurt Maflin 6-4 on the other side of the draw.
Maflin, Norway’s number one player, put together runs of 81, 113 and 128 but the Pistol breaks of 60, 77, 126 and 68 - claiming the deciding frame on the black - to seal his spot in the quarter-final.
Elsewhere, Liang Wenbo put together runs of 59, 67, 104 and 83 as he beat Li Hang 6-4 to set up a quarter-final against either Ronnie O'Sullivan or Junhui Ding
UK CHAMPIONSHIP LAST-16 RESULTS
- Yan Bingtao 6 – 1 Neil Robertson
- John Higgins 6 – 4 Stuart Bingham
- Mark Allen 6 – 5 Kurt Maflin
- Liang Wenbo 6 - 4 Li Hang