21 march 2021 publish date
Surprise package Sam Craigie won his last three matches to top Group Three in phase two of the WST Pro Series, with Jack Lisowski runner-up.
World number 55 Craigie and number ten Lisowski will both be trying to win a first career ranking title when they play in Sunday’s final group.
The winner of the final group will be crowned champion on Sunday night.
Barry Hawkins was edged into third place today, but there was a silver lining for the Hawk as that was enough to guarantee himself a place in next week’s Cazoo Tour Championship.
Craigie’s hopes looked slim when he won just two of his first four matches, while Hawkins and Lisowski surged ahead on four wins apiece. But Craigie then beat Luca Brecel 2-0 and Fergal O’Brien 2-0 to give himself hope, before finishing with a superb 2-0 defeat of Lisowski.
Newcastle’s Craigie finished on five wins and a frame difference of plus six, ahead of Lisowski who had five wins and a frame difference of plus three. Hawkins edged out Joe Perry 2-1 in his last match to finish with the same record as Lisowski, but was placed third as he lost their head-to-head clash 2-1 earlier in the day.
Craigie is through to the last eight of a ranking event for the second time in his career, having reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 China Open.
Judd Trump boosted his hopes of winning a record-equalling sixth ranking title of the season by reaching the final group stage of the WST Pro Series.
Trump topped his phase two group on Saturday by winning his final match 2-1 against runner-up Stuart Bingham. Both players join the final group on Sunday, with the player who finishes top to take home the trophy.
World number one Trump has already won the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open this season, and now has the chance to equal the record of six ranking titles in a single campaign, which he set last season.
He lost his opening match today, 2-0 against Dominic Dale, but then won six in a row. His battle with Bingham came down to the colours in the deciding frame, and a safety error from Bingham handed Trump the opportunity to clear and top the table.
Ryan Day was also in with a chance heading into the final round of matches, having won four of his first six, but a 2-0 defeat against Mark Selby ended his hopes.
Bingham won five of his first six, and that proved enough for second place despite his defeat against Trump. The Basildon cueman needs to win the tournament to climb inside the top 16 in the Race to the Crucible otherwise he’ll be heading for the qualifying rounds in Sheffield.
Final group line-up
The article is based on WST.TV