12 february 2021 publish date
Ronnie O’Sullivan is top of the Group Five table and already guaranteed a place in Thursday evening’s play-offs after winning all four of his matches so far in BetVictor Championship League Snooker at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.
Having already defeated Joe Perry, Kyren Wilson and Ali Carter, O’Sullivan then overturned a 1-0 deficit in his fourth and final match of the day to beat Mark Selby 3-1 with a hat-trick of centuries; 125, 124 and 140.
That left Selby winless in three matches, putting him joint bottom with Barry Hawkins, who also suffered three defeats on day one of the fifth group of this year’s invitational BetVictor Championship League Snooker.
Carter entered the tournament in this group and sits second behind O’Sullivan, having only lost to the World Champion in the four matches he played. Mark Williams and Wilson have two wins each, while Perry won one and lost two of his opening three matches.
The next day, Ronnie decided not to strain too much in the group stage and keep his strength for the evening, securing his participation in the semifinals in advance. At first he lost 1: 3 to Mark Williams, and later to Barry Hawkins with the same score.
Ali Carter, meanwhile, has decided not to "save fuel", unlike Rocket. With confident victories over Selby and Williams, the "Captain" soared to the top of the table, moving Ronnie to second place.
Mark Selby's failed performance in the group lasted until the last match, in which the three-time world champion "slammed the door" and defeated Joe Perry 3: 1, ending the meeting with a total clearance of 144 points. However, this could not affect the tournament situation and Selby and Hawkins were eliminated, taking the last places in the group. Instead, Perry moved to the next group, because having the same number of points with Barry, he defeated him in a personal meeting.
Wilson beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-2 in his semi-final, winning from 2-1 down with breaks of 128 and 132. Williams defeated Ali Carter 3-1 in his semi-final, having beaten O’Sullivan in his final group match to take fourth in the group table.
The Welshman took the first two frames of the final with breaks of 82 and 60, but Wilson hit back with 78 in the third and an 83 in the fourth, to force the decider. The fifth frame was the longest of the final, at just over 30 minutes, but Wilson eventually got the crucial red he required to put Williams out of sight.
Kyren Wilson beat Mark Williams 3-2 in the deciding frame of the Group Five final to advance to Winners’ Group of BetVictor Championship League Snooker at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.
The Kettering man will now return on April 1-2, where he will join Zhou Yuelong, John Higgins, Graeme Dott, Judd Trump and the winners of the final two groups, to battle it out for the title and a place in November’s Champion of Champions.
Joe Perry will join Carter and Williams in Group Six having finished fifth in Group Five, where they will be joined by newcomers Liang Wenbo, David Gilbert and Anthony McGill. Barry Hawkins and Mark Selby have been eliminated from the event having finished sixth and seventh respectively in the group. O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the tournament and will be replaced by Li Hang.
The article is based on WST.TV