2021 Summer CLS – Day 18

This is the report by WST as Ali Carter and Ryan Day booked their spot in the final day

Carter And Day Progress

Ali Carter and Ryan Day moved into Finals Day of the BetVictor Championship League Snooker at the Morningside Arena, Leicester on the second day of stage two.

Carter has previously spoken of his ambition of getting back into the world’s top 16 and he did that goal no harm with his performances in Group E against Shaun Murphy, Graeme Dott, and Gerard Greene.

The Captain started out with a 3-1 win over Dott. Carter then landed the vital blow against Murphy with a 3-1 win, meaning he needed just a point against Greene to qualify.

He went on to win three from three after dismantling Greene 3-0 for his best result of the day. Carter said: “I’ve been working hard back home and trying to do the right things. I’ve come here today, and it’s paid off. I knew it was going to be a tough group obviously Shaun and Graeme are both former world champions, I knew I had work to do.

“There are all tough players. It’s great to be involved, it’s a great tournament. I’m really enjoying it, If I can turn up on Friday and enjoy it again, I’ll be happy.”

Day is a Championship League Snooker stalwart but is still hunting for his first title. The Welshman moved one step closer, going unbeaten against Stuart Bingham, Alexander Ursenbacher, and Ashley Hugill to top Group F.

The Shoot-Out winner drew 2-2 with Ursenbacher and went into the evening with only one point to his name. Bingham meanwhile had won his first two 3-1 and 3-0 respectively against Ursenbacher and Hugill to be in prime position to top the group.

Day began the evening by beating Hugill 3-1 from 1-0 down, to set up a showdown against Bingham for a spot in Finals Day.

It was comprehensive in the end for Day who cleaned up 3-0 with a top break of 74 to top the group.

Day said: “I wasn’t at the races at all in the first game. Salvaging a point, in the end, proved to be key. Going into the second match against Hugill I knew I needed to win. Against Stuart, it felt like a bit of a normal setup with a knockout situation. It was the best I felt and best I played all day.

“One big push on Friday, somebody is obviously going to walk away with a trophy and quite the boost going into the new season. Somebody is going to potentially get into the Grand Prix and Players Championship.”

Carter and Day join yesterday’s group winners Cao Yupeng and David Gilbert to complete the first group of Finals Day.

Kyren Wilson continues his title defence in Group D against Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty, and Oliver Lines tomorrow on Table 1, from 12 noon (UK time),

I can’t comment much as I only saw the last matches in each group.

The match between Shaun Murphy and Greame Dott was for second and third place. Both were going for their shots.: Shaun’s AST was of 13.6 sec and Graeme’s was 17.2 sec. Dotty looked set to win the first frame, leading by 67, but missed frame ball and Shaun stole it with 68. After that it was very much one way traffic. Phil Yates in commentary was reflecting on Dotty’s completely undeserved “slow and boring player” reputation. It all stemmed from the 2006 final against Peter Ebdon, a final where both players were tense and exhausted and Ebdon dictated the pace.

In the other group, The last match was to decide between third and last place. The last frame of the day was a dead one and it was started by an “à la Quinten Hahn” break-off. Both Ashley Hugill and Alex Ursenbacher were laughing as they let off steam and Ashley produced a good 74 … “pour l’honneur”.