2021 Championship League Snooker – Group 2

Graeme Dott won the 2021 Championship League Snooker Group 2. 

Congratulations “Dotty” !

Here are the reports by WST:

Day 1 – Wednesday

Higgins And Selt Share Group Two Lead

Matthew Selt and John Higgins sit top of Group Two at BetVictor Championship League Snooker with three wins apiece at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.

Higgins, who lost the deciding frame of the Group One final to Zhou Yuelong on Tuesday evening, won all three of his matches on the first day of Group Two, beating Kyren Wilson 3-2 in the closing match of the day.

Matt SeltSelt also picked up three wins, beating Kyren Wilson, Graeme Dott and Gary Wilson, but has also suffered a 3-1 defeat to Scott Donaldson.

At the other end of the table Stuart Bingham faces a fight to remain in the competition having lost all three of his matches so far in the group. However, with Dott and Donaldson on two points and both Kyren and Gary Wilson on one, it’s all to play for when the group concludes on Thursday.

Day 2 – Thursday

Graeme Dott beat Scott Donaldson 3-1 in the Group Two final to join Zhou Yuelong in Winners’ Group of BetVictor Championship League Snooker.

Dott came from 2-0 down to beat John Higgins 3-2 in the group semi-final at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, before winning the final having lost the opening frame to another of his fellow countrymen.

Donaldson has previously won both groups he’d played in at the invitational form of BetVictor Championship League Snooker. In both Group Four and the Winners’ Group last year he beat Graeme Dott in the final, but he wasn’t able to make it a hat-trick this time.

The younger of the two Scots drew first blood in the final thanks to a 55 break. A run of 103 saw Dott level, before the former World Champion made an 86 in the third to lead the best-of-five 2-1. He then fired in a break of 75 in the fourth to confirm his spot in March’s big-money Winners’ Group.

“He has beaten me a few times, he’s had my number in the Championship League,” said Dott, who collected a total of £6,200 from the group. “I played quite well tonight so I’m glad to get it done.

“I played well against John. I thought I played quite well on the first day of this group, but only two out of four games. Today I really struggled, the games against Gary Wilson and Scott in the group stage I was terrible. I had an hour’s rest, came back and practiced, and that helped tonight.”

Kyren Wilson will join Higgins, Donaldson and Matthew Selt in Group Three, where they will be joined by newcomers Mark Selby, Tom Ford and Zhao Xintong on Friday. Gary Wilson and Stuart Bingham have been eliminated from the event having finished sixth and seventh respectively in the group.

FINAL GROUP TWO TABLE

PLD W L FW FL PTS MONEY
John Higgins 6 5 1 15 11 5 £3,100
Matthew Selt 6 4 2 14 9 4 £2,400
Scott Donaldson 6 4 2 14 10 4 £4,600
Graeme Dott 6 3 3 14 12 3 £6,200
Kyren Wilson 6 2 4 11 15 2 £1,100
Gary Wilson 6 2 4 9 15 2 £1,400
Stuart Bingham 6 1 5 11 16 1 £1,100

 

Semi-Finals:
John Higgins 2-3 Graeme Dott
70-8, 66-56 (56), 0-135 (135), 30-75, 9-83 (79)

Scott Donaldson 3
-0 Matthew Selt
106-7 (79), 69-52, 58-0

Final
Graeme Dott
3–1 Scott Donaldson
8-81 (55), 126-2 (103), 94-21 (86), 90-13 (75)

 

All detailed results are available on snooker.org

There was a rather shocking incident on the second day, during the John Higgins v Gary Wison match:

There were many questions on social media regarding the correctness of the referee’s call. The referee was absolutely correct.

I asked a group of referees their opinion about the incident.

Here is the comprehensive answer I got from Clive Brown:

Screenshot 2021-01-08 at 07.20.04Screenshot 2021-01-08 at 07.19.46

Thank you Clive!

It is rather obvious that neither John Higgins, nor Gary Wilson were aware that John had the option to get the balls replaced, and that the commentators didn’t know that either.

Gary posted this on facebook shortly after the match:

Screenshot 2021-01-07 at 17.09.18

It’s obvious that many are struggling mentally with the current covid-19 situation. I just hope that Gary can get the help and support he needs, and, of course, that we can get out of this horrible situation in a not too distant future. To Gary’s credit he did give it his best in his last match, despite knowing that he was already eliminated. He not only beat Kyren Wilson, by 3-2 he also made a 143, the highest break of the group.

2 thoughts on “2021 Championship League Snooker – Group 2

  1. Thanks for that inquiry and explanation, Monique, I was completely flabbergasted at that incident, and had the unsavory vision of players hitting the balls they missed if the only penalty is a foul – 4 points. (I now in general they would not do it, but people can lose it mentally.) If the other can have it replaced, it is different, I suppose after this players will be very much aware of this.

  2. Yes, Gary Wilson is one of several players who have been finding lockdown intolerable.

    Unfortunately there were rather too many unsavoury incidents last year: dissent, players arguing at the table, comments in interviews. I do hope snooker isn’t on a downward trend, and that after the frustrations of lockdown have ended and crowds come back we can return so a less heated atmosphere.

    Donaldson nearly repeated Zhou’s feat of the youngest player winning the group. Dott showed that it’s very possible to play poorly at times in this league but still come through at the end. Higgins has played 63 frames so far this week, with another round to come – he’ll probably get close to 100. Has he ever played more competitive frames in such a short time? Certainly not at the Crucible.

    Today Zhao Xintong replaces Neil Robertson, which is reassuring as he is actually higher than Tom Ford in the rankings. In the Crondon Park days there was a suspicion that ‘invitations’ to this event were mainly based on drinking capacity! Zhao should benefit from the match practice.

    They should really rename this tournament ‘Spring Championship League’ to distinguish it from ‘Summer Championship League’ and ‘Autumn Championship League’, to avoid confusion with all these events…

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