Scott Donaldson and Mark King won their respective groups at BetVictor Championship League Snooker on Wednesday to advance to Stage Two of the event at Stadium MK.
Donaldson, who won Championship League in its previous form last season, began the day with a 3-0 win over Ashley Carty. Chris Wakelin was the group’s second seed and beat Barry Pinches 3-0 before drawing 2-2 with Carty.
A 3-1 Donaldson win over Pinches meant the group would go to a deciding match, and when Donaldson went 2-1 up he was guaranteed the required point and progressed despite Wakelin levelling the match in the fourth and final frame.
“It is going to come to an end eventually but I’m happy with the way it’s going, especially in this one,” said Donaldson of his Championship League success.
“I started really slowly; the tables are a little bit different as this event uses Rassons but others use Stars, so it took a couple of frames to get used to it but once I get into a rhythm I feel I can beat most players.
“It was brilliant to win this event in March because I had been on the tour for eight years and hadn’t won anything. The lockdown hit just after I won that tournament and if the World Championship had been played, it might have been different. We’re all glad to be playing at the moment, it’s strange times.”
On table two, any one of three players could still advance with two matches to play. King beat Robertson to knock the former European Masters champion out in match five, meaning David Grace would have to beat Allan Taylor to advance. However, the Leeds potter suffered a 3-1 defeat, meaning it was King who topped the group and took a place in Stage Two of BetVictor Championship League Snooker.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Thursday with two-time event champion John Higgins among those in action. Coverage of both tables will be available at Matchroom.Live, with UK television coverage on Freesports.
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
P W D L FW FL +/- PTS Scott Donaldson 3 2 1 0 8 3 5 7 Chris Wakelin 3 1 2 0 7 4 3 5 Ashley Carty 3 0 2 1 4 7 -3 2 Barry Pinches 3 0 1 2 3 8 -5 1
P W D L FW FL +/- PTS Mark King 3 2 1 0 8 4 4 7 David Grace 3 1 1 1 6 6 0 4 Jimmy Robertson 3 1 0 2 5 7 -2 3 Allan Taylor 3 1 0 2 5 7 -2 3
Mark Williams has been replaced in Group 28 of the BetVictor Championship League (Friday, Oct 2) by Haydon Pinhey. As a result, Group 27 will now be played on Table One that day, with Group 28 now on Table Two.
It was a bit strange to see Ashley Carty playing without glasses. I didn’t understand whether he is now playing with lenses or if he had an eye surgery. Whichever, it might take a bit of time for him to fully adapt to the change.
Barry Pinches played terrible yesterday and it pained me to watch him struggle so much. Barry is now 50, he turned professional in 1989, and his love for the game is still there intact. He’s never been a top player, but he’s certainly been a very useful player for more than 30 years. He’s also a lovely person. Barry came on social media to apologise for his performance. There is no need for that Barry, eveyone has bad days.