This is WST report on day 4 at the 2021 summer CLS in Leicester:
Hawk Soars To Reach Stage Two
Barry Hawkins and Stuart Carrington won through the fourth day of BetVictor Championship League Snooker to book their places in Stage Two at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Both players ended the day with seven points to top their respective groups, and both did it by drawing their final match of the day; Hawkins against Ben Woollaston and Carrington against Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown.
Hawkins had beaten Kuldesh Johal and Zak Surety, both 3-0, to take pole position in Group 28 ahead of his match against Woollaston. Leicester’s Woollaston had also beaten Johal 3-0, but a draw against Surety meant he would have to beat Hawkins to advance.
Woollaston took the first frame, but the Hawk hit back with a break of 93 and despite a contribution of 44 from the Leicester man, it was Hawkins who took the third frame to ensure his progression.
“It is the first tournament of the season, everyone is probably a bit rusty but I need to step it up now,” said Hawkins. “I did all the hard work but butchered the green in the third frame against Ben but luckily for me I nicked the frame and the job was done.
“I don’t have real goals for the season, but like everyone I’m looking for a win. It was warm in the arena so conditions were tough, a little bit clammy.”
Carrington also advanced by taking the third frame of his final group match to ensure at least a draw against Brown. Carrington had earlier defeated Duane Jones 3-0 and Michael Judge 3-1. Brown had beaten Judge 3-0 but dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Jones, giving Carrington the advantage in what was the decisive match of the group.
Like Hawkins on the adjacent table, Carrington fell a frame down before taking the next two to advance, Brown’s breaks of 45 and 79 in the fourth were important for him though; they meant he would finish second and pocket £2,000 for his day’s work.
“I was pretty solid and started off with a good 3-0 to settle any nerves,” said Carrington, who won £3,000 for topping the group. “The heat has been a bit of a problem in the club this week so I didn’t have as many hours as I wanted to this week. I want to go deep in as many tournaments as possible and find some consistency this year.”
BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Thursday with Tom Ford and Reanne Evans among those in action. Live scoring along with league standings and the match schedule is available at www.ChampionshipLeagueSnooker.co.uk
Coverage of Table 1 begins at 12 noon (UK time) and is live on FreeSports (UK), DAZN, Zhibo.tv (China) and Viaplay, with Table 2 live globally at Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at https://championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/watch/
Follow BetVictor Championship League Snooker on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news and scores from Stadium MK.
GROUP 28 TABLE
Pld W D L +/- PTS Money Won Barry Hawkins 3 2 1 0 6 7 £3,000 Ben Woollaston 3 1 2 0 3 5 £2,000 Zak Surety 3 0 2 1 -3 2 £1,000 Kudelsh Johal 3 0 1 2 -6 1 £0
GROUP 2 TABLE
Pld W D L +/- PTS Money Won Stuart Carrington 3 2 1 0 6 7 £3,000 Jordan Brown 3 1 2 0 3 5 £2,000 Duane Jones 3 0 2 1 -3 2 £1,000 Michael Judge 3 0 1 2 -6 1 £0
In both groups, the two top players finished undefeated, and the decisive match between them ended up in a draw. There were only two centuries all day, one by each of the groups winners; Stuart Carrington currently holds the highest break of the event with the 137 he scored against Michael Judge.
The most extraordinary match of the day though was probably the last one, between Duane Jones and Michael Judge. It wasn’t a “dead match” in that they were playing for the third place and £1,000; Duane Jones needed only a draw, Michael Judge needed the win.
This is what happened:
It was, by far, one of the highest scoring matches in the tournament so far. Maybe because in the late hours of the day the arena was a bit cooler, who knows?
Duane Jones lost frame three from 74-0 up, with 67 on the table. That does not happen often! Michael Judge got the two snookers he needed, playing some very clever stuff, and managed to win by a single point. This meant that the last frame was indeed decisive: whoever won it would get the third spot and the £1,000. Michael Judge made the best start: he was on a break of 65 and only needed the pink for victory. It was match ball, he missed it. Duane Jones stepped in and cleared the table.
There was also some feedback in the press about an incident involving Ronnie during his match against Saqib Nasir on Tuesday:
O’Sullivan Dumbfounded By Ref Call At Championship League Snooker
Ronnie O’Sullivan could not believe that referee Rob Spencer called a push ball on him during his Championship League Snooker match against Saqib Nasir on Tuesday.
The six-time world champion left himself tight on the blue in a close and error-filled opening frame, and was forced to use the rest.
O’Sullivan potted the ball, but Spencer called a foul, resulting in the following exchange:
Ronnie O’Sullivan: What?
Rob Spencer: It’s a push, Ronnie.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: Are you having a laugh?
Rob Spencer: No, it was a push.
World number 22 ranked Tom Ford was on commentary, and felt it was not a foul by O’Sullivan.
“I am not sure that was a push, as if it was a push, the white would have gone straight through, but he played it at an angle,” said Ford.
“That wasn’t a push shot. If he’d pushed that, the white would have gone straight towards the corner pocket.”
Nasir played a safety shot on the blue. Before he took his next shot, O’Sullivan wanted a few more words with the referee. He appeared to request that Spencer take a look at the decision after the match.
“I am the most honest snooker player and I never try to cheat,” said O’Sullivan.
Spencer replied, “I can only say what I see.”
O’Sullivan went on to win the frame, and subsequently the match 3-0. It was his second win of the group stage. He had beaten Ian Burns earlier in the day. The 45-year-old drew 2-2 with Mark Joyce in his final match as he topped the group with seven points.
The first stage Championship League Snooker runs until August 6th. The second stage will be played August 9th – 12th.
You can watch the controversial moment at the 14:30 mark below.
The blue highligh is my doing.
Tom is an experienced professional player, he would know if it was a push shot, and it didn’t sound like one either. The incident did nothing to improve Ronnie’s mood … and TBH he looked unhappy enough already with the hot conditions in the arena. BTW, there were no Ronnie quotes in yesterday WST report … a bit surprising but maybe it was just as well actually.