Yesterday was an eventful day on and off the baize.
On the baize, Kyren Wilson made a flawless course as he won all his matches, whilst Mark Davis who was forced to withdraw from the European Masters after his cue was stolen, made the best possible use of it, after they were reunited, and won his group.
Mark Davis winning yesterday made me happy for two reasons: first because I like him, next … I’ll let you guess.
Kyren Wilson and Mark Davis are through to Stage Two of BetVictor Championship League Snooker after winning their respective groups at Stadium MK on Saturday.
Wilson didn’t drop a frame as he won four matches out of four, and almost ended the group in style with a 147 before running out of position on the penultimate red of his final frame against Duane Jones.
Daniel Wells had been scheduled to join Wilson, Jones and Kuldesh Johal in Group 24 but was withdrawn from the event after testing positive for Covid-19. Wells was tested on Friday (October 2) and remained in isolation until the results of the test were known, at which point Wells left the venue immediately with no direct contact with other personnel.
Wells had previously tested positive at the European Masters last Tuesday (September 22nd) and had remained in self-isolation since. In accordance with Government guidelines he was able to re-test on Friday. All other players who were tested on Friday returned negative results.
Therefore, Group 24 proceeded with three players rather than the usual four, each playing each other twice to maintain six matches in the group.
Kettering potter Wilson opened with a 3-0 success over Johal, before beating Jones by the same scoreline. A second 3-0 success over amateur Johal meant Wilson was within touching distance of the next stage, and his position at the top of the group was confirmed when Jones suffered a 3-1 reversal against Johal.
“It was the perfect day’s work,” said Wilson. “It’s a difficult format in the Championship League with the four frames. If you get off to a good start it puts your opponent under a lot of pressure – I think the first frame is huge in this format. Managing to win every first frame, it enables you to go on a bit stronger.
“When you find a recipe for success it’s just about making sure that you do the right things and work hard. I’ve tried to work as hard as I can for the start of this season. I’m looking forward to working even harder and seeing what I can achieve this season.”
On table two, Davis defeated Ali Carter 3-0 in what was each player’s final match of Group 30. Both went into the fixture knowing a win would be enough to advance, but a draw could potentially open the door for Chang Bingyu, who had earlier drawn 2-2 with both Davis and Carter.
“I’m really pleased, because that was a tough group,” said Davis, who won the group having been reunited with the cue which went missing last week. “Chang is a really good player, I’ve played him a couple of times before and knew how good he is. Every group is tough with such short matches and I’m really pleased to get through.
“It was really good to get the cue back. I’d been playing really well since just before the World Championship, so I didn’t want to lose the cue so it was a relief to get it back and obviously it was a good day today.”
BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Sunday with Joe Perry, who won the first Championship League Snooker in 2008, 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 Kyren Wilson 4 4 0 0 12 0 12 12 Duane Jones 4 1 0 3 4 9 -5 3 Kuldesh Johal 4 1 0 3 3 10 -7 3
P W D L FW FL +/- PTS Mark Davis 3 2 1 0 8 2 6 7 Chang Bingyu 3 1 2 0 7 5 2 5 Ali Carter 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4 Jamie Curtis-Barrett 3 0 0 3 2 9 -7 0
Chang indeed did well. He’s one to watch this season.
The other big “news” were covid-19 related.
Of course this triggered loads of reactions and comments. Earlier in the week, Mark Williams withdrew as well and no one seemed to care much.
WST Chairman Barry Hearn has tested positive for Covid-19 and has begun a period of self isolation in accordance with UK government guidelines. Barry feels well and is not displaying any symptoms.
Additional staff and family members have also been tested and all found negative.
Everyone at WST wishes Barry a fast and full recovery.
Hopefully Barry Hearn doesn’t develop severe symptoms because he’s not that young and has suffered heart attacks before. It could be very, very serious. But hopefully also, this will make Barry realise that in the business of sports, there is no such thing as zero risk and he may show a bit more understanding and sympathy to the likes of Anthony Hamilton in the future.