2021/22 Championship League Snooker – Yan Bingtao wins Group 6

Yan Bingtao won this season’s CLS Group 6 convincingly, losing just one match en route to qualifying for the Winner’s Group.

Here is the report by WST:

Yan Secures Spot In Winners’ Group

Yan Bingtao won Group 6 of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational, beating Martin Gould 3-1 in the group final at the Morningside Arena, Leicester live on FreeSports in the UK and networks worldwide.

Yan started the day on top having won three of his four matches on day one to all but secure a play-off spot. The world number 15 continued that form, beating Kyren Wilson in his penultimate group match 3-0 with breaks of 110, 114, and 75 before a similar whitewash over Gould to complete the group section with five wins from six.

Gould ensured his progression with wins over Jordan Brown and Ali Carter. In the semi-finals, Gould then came from 1-0 down to beat Ding Junhui 3-2. In the other semi, Yan scored a 3-0 success over reigning champion Wilson.

It was Yan who got off the mark the quickest in the final with a break of 94 in the first frame and 65 to pinch the second. Gould did take the third frame, but Yan proved too strong overall and sealed it with a run of 63 in the last frame.

Yan said: “I feel very good. It is difficult to win the group with seven players. This is very good practice for me. I think I have more confidence in myself.”

Wilson, Ding, Carter, and Gould will all return in Group 7 alongside Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and John Higgins who will join the competition. Brown and Matthew Selt were both eliminated after taking sixth and seventh spots, respectively. Each group champion advances to February’s Winners’ Group.

Yan played very well indeed, and scored heavily: there were 15 centuries made in that Group and Yan contributed by scoring 6 of them. He was a joy to watch.

There were encouraging signs for Ding’s fans as well. Ding managed to win 4 out of 6 matches, his defeats coming against Yan Bingtao and Kyren Wilson. My feeling was that he got better as the event unfolded but he still looks vulnerable under pressure. Ding is only 34 and far to good to plummet in the rankings the way he has in recent years. Of course, there are reasons for it that have nothing to do with the intrinsic quality of his game but he needs to play and rebuild his confidence to get back where he belongs.