Snooker star Stuart on cue for Ravenscraig challenge

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IN-FORM Stuart Bingham has his sights set on winning Scotland’s first ever world ranking event when snooker’s top stars arrive in Motherwell this week.

Event Five of the Betfair European Tour, the Scottish Open, takes place at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility from Friday until Sunday offering a £10,000 first prize as well as PTC Order of Merit points.

Dozens of the world’s top stars, as well as Scotland’s best amateurs, will be on show with up to 11 games being played at once.

Bingham (36) comes into the Ravenscraig event having beaten world number one Judd Trump in the final of a Premier League event a fortnight ago and reaching the quarter-finals of last week’s UK Championship.

These results have moved the 17-year pro into the world’s top 10 for the first time and hopes that by the time he takes to the baize on Friday will be confirmed in the top eight.

Bingham has recorded victories over the likes of multiple world champions John Higgins, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in his long career, but admits it took a long time to compete with them consistently.

He said: “I have played in Scotland many times over the years, and while it is not quite the home of snooker, given its pedigree within the game it is probably about time it was given a ranking event.

“With the way I have been playing of late, I fancy my changes of victory, as I do going into most tournaments nowadays and it shows perserverence pays off.

“I have been working with a new coach, I’ve been with my fiancee for three years and we have a new child so I truly believe that happy off the table, happy on it.

“I always thought I could compete at the top level, and have had some good victories over the years, but I really lacked consistency, although happily that is now something I have found in the past couple of years.

“I finally won my first ranking event last year, the Australian Goldfields Open, and haven’t looked back since.

“I’ve gone on to win another two events in Asia as well as the Premier League and I’m delighted to be in the world’s top 10 for the first time and it’s where I aim to stay.”

Tickets for the Scottish Open, which runs from December 14-16, cost £10 for a full day or £25 for a three-day pass, available by calling 01698 274 600 or visiting World Snooker