2021 Championship League Snooker – Kyren Wilson wins Group 5

Kyren Wilson booked his place in the Winners Gtroup yesterday evening. He beat Ronnie by 3-2, from 2-1 down, in the SF, then beat Mark Williams by 3-2 again, this time from 2-0 down,

Congratulations Kyren!

After winning his four matches on the first day, dropping just one frame, Ronnie lost all three matches he played yesterday. He still added 7 pieces to his centuries tally … Mark Selby who had reached the final in Group 4, won just one match, finished last and was eliminated.

It was an incredibibly tough group, played at a very, very high standard. There were 27 centuries in that group alone, Ronnie making 7 of them.


Here is the report by WST:

Wilson Through In Championship League

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.

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.

“I put all of my effort into today and I finished off with three 3-2s,” said Wilson, who won the ranking event version of BetVictor Championship League Snooker last autumn.

“It has been a tough couple of groups so I’m delighted to get into the Winners’ Group. I have played O’Sullivan in a lot of big matches, so I know what it takes to beat him and I had to produce back-to-back tons after his centuries. That is the standard you have to reach to beat these legends of the game and I’m pleased that I managed to achieve that today.

“We are lucky to have snooker on at the moment and these tournaments are fantastic. I enjoy the set up, it is relaxed but with a bit of pressure with the money and Champion of Champions potential at the end of it. The groups have been really, really tough this year.”

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.

It’s not the first time that Ronnie withdraws from the Championship League Snooker after playing in just one group. Matchroom may not be best pleased with that, but the fact is that many top players use this event as excellent “paid practice” and, if they go through, great, if not … still happy days. Ronnie earned £2000 over the two days; he played 8 matches against top opposition. Mark Selby came last but still got £500 for the highest break, plus £1000 for the frames he won in this group, and that comes on top of the £3200 he got from groups 3 and 4.

The format of this event is such that players may be tempted not to try their best in every match… consciously or subconciously. And yet it’s great to watch, because they play with a freedom that you won’t see in other events.

Anyway … here are some short videos shared by the event official twitter account.

Ronnies 7th century, last balls

Story of the group

Best shots of the group

And what Ronnie did…

9 thoughts on “2021 Championship League Snooker – Kyren Wilson wins Group 5

  1. This tournament is often denigrated, partly because of the ‘losing’ incentives (i.e. preferring to compete in a sequence of groups to maximise match earnings), but I actually think it’s a good event. It could be improved by paying the winner of each group a bigger bonus, instead of the runner-up and semi-finalist money – once it reaches the knockout stage there are no ‘dead’ matches.

    These matches are ‘public’ in the sense that they are televised (albeit hard to find!), so could reasonably count towards ranking, as they provide evidence of a player’s strength. But not with the current system of course!

    • I actually like to watch it because most players play with more freedom and show how good they actually are, something you don’t always see in ranking tournaments.. But the current system isn’t an incentive to try their best on every match and that’s a big issue.

  2. I think he really wanted to beat Selby and with a good display to boot and maybe also Carter: he really just got better on Wednesday by the time he faced Selby. Yesterday’s two matches were a little lackluster IMO, and of course a lot more important for the opponents who wanted to finish better than they were placed in that moment. In the semis against Kyren I don’t think he did anything particularly wrong: Wilson was good and in a match of normal length Ronnie would have had chances: 4 were one-visit frames if I remember correctly. A pity Ronnie did not win though, it would have been good to play this thing again later and get more practice. I understand why he pulled out, though it looks a little inelegant, even though not unusual.

    Interesting that he did most of his break-offs right-handed and on Wednesday they were quite good.

    • That’s what I meant Csilla. For top players this event is a good opportunity to try things and experiment. Ronnie has struggled with his break-off for years. He’s looking for solutions. He woould’n’t try such things in a “proper” ranking event. That said Williams hinted that he could just roll behind the pack in the future … with the faster cloth, red split a lot easier. Players nowaday almost always leave a red on from the break-off, and more often than not their opponent will go for it. That’s why at the shoot-out the vast majority of the players who won the toss put their opponent in. Breaking off is not an advantage anymore.

    • Exactly and I simply don’t understand why Ronnie chooses to be the first to break-off is he wins the toss, it is probably his weakest side. I appreciated that Murphy said once he always puts the opponent to break-off first if he wins the toss, so if there is a decider, he won’t be the one to break. It does not sound like regarding it an advantage.

    • I don’t think it’s anything to do wirh being down. He’s done this before. More likely, he wanted the match practice, got it, and now wants to have time with his family and fiancée – it’s Valentine on Sunday – before heading to Wlaes. He’s done the same before.

      • I didn’t see the matches. But it’s very possible that he went for risky shots. Practice. In 2010, both Mark Selby and Ronnie played in a CLS group right before the Masters, finished 6th and 7th, both eliminated … and met in the final of the Masters on the next week. Just saying.

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