AN out-of-sorts Stuart Bingham tumbled out of the Welsh Open at the first-round stage after going down 4-2 against Robert Milkins at Celtic Manor.

The 2015 world champion was edged out in a tight first frame and was a spectator for large parts of the next two as Milkins built a 3-0 lead.

Bingham hit back in style with a 124 break and reduced the deficit to 3-2 to set up a grandstand finish but the world number 13 paid for errors in a scrappy final frame.

The 44-year-old beat Milkins 6-0 on his way to winning the Welsh Open in 2017 but the boot was on the other foot this time around and Bingham was left to reflect his second successive early exit in a ranking tournament.

The victorious Milkins said: “When you beat someone as good as Stuart, you normally need to be on top of your game but he struggled, so it was a good opportunity for me.

“I’ve lost to him from good positions in the past and he beat me in the Scottish Open just before Christmas, so that was playing on my mind when he got back to 3-2.

“In the end, I was blessed with luck as it as was only the run of the balls that got me over the line.”

Bingham’s exit capped a difficult couple of days for the Basildon-based trio at Celtic Manor.

Zak Surety was beaten 4-1 by reigning champion Shaun Murphy on Monday while Allan Taylor was the first player to head home from the tournament following his 4-0 defeat at the hands of Pang Junxu.

March’s Gibraltar Open is the next opportunity for the trio to impress, with the World Championships looming into view.