STUART Bingham said he couldn’t help but be frustrated after missing out on his fifth ranking title in Belgium on Sunday.

The 41-year-old from Bowers Gifford was beaten 9-7 by Judd Trump in the final of the European Masters.

However, Bingham had led 1-0, 2-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before Trump took charge to retain his title from last year.

It continues a run of close results between the two - with no more than two frames separating them in six of the last seven meetings.

But he said he was pleased with his form - having beaten Mark Selby, Luca Brecel and Graeme Dott among others en route to the final.

“I am frustrated not to have won,” said the 2015 World Champion. “Judd said at the end that I outscored and outplayed him in large parts but he got a run going at the right time and it often won the frame for him.

“I can’t remember the last time we played each other and it didn’t go to the last frame or two. I enjoy our matches and we respect each other.

“I am getting close to that fifth title and it was frustrating for me as this was a good opportunity.

“I haven’t had much time to reflect as I only got back at 4am yesterday morning, but I had some good results.

“I had some good wins, the most satisfying of which was in the semi-final against Zhou Yuelong. I didn’t feel I played very well but I got through it.”

Bingham has had a hugely busy schedule in recent weeks, travelling to destinations including China, Malaysia and India.

His next test is a little closer to home - a Shanghai Masters qualifier against Lukas Kleckers in Wigan on Friday - before the unforgiving World Snooker calendar continues.

After Friday’s qualifier, he plays in the English Open in Barnsley before heading back to China for the International Championship.

Events in Coventry, Shanghai, Belfast and York take the season into December.

But Bingham says he enjoys keeping busy.

“I had a three week tour of the world before the European Masters, but I enjoy it,” said Bingham. “The 6-Red World Championship in Thailand saw me beaten 6-5, although I took that to a decider and the same happened in the Indian Open and World Open after that, which hurt.

“I got a positive result in the International Championship qualifiers against Sean O’Sullivan when I got home before heading to Belgium.

“The travelling from India to China was a bit of a nightmare. I travelled from India to Singapore, then Singapore to Shanghai, had a 90 minute drive to the train station before almost three hours on the train.

“After all that, you are under pressure not to lose too early as you know you have to do it all again afterwards.

“But I embrace it. It is hard as I have a young family but I have to deal with it. I will travel anywhere with my cue.”