2022 Ranking CLS Stage 2 – Groups A and D

Here is the report shared by WST about yesterday’s action at the 2022 ranking CLS

Pang And Zhao Into Final Day

Pang Junxu and Zhao Xintong won Groups A and D respectively to progress through to the final day of the BetVictor Championship League in Leicester.

Tables and Scores

Pang faced the tricky challenge of ousting Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ali Carter, and Yuan Sijun if he was to make the third stage on Friday. Yuan began the day with an impressive 3-0 win over O’Sullivan. Pang meanwhile took the opener against Carter, who quickly levelled. However, Pang composed breaks of 69 and 50 to wrap up a 3-1 win.

Carter’s hopes of progressing were soon ended by a 2-2 draw with Yuan. The final frame was scrappy, but Yuan edged it to seal it after 40 minutes of play.

Into the evening session and O’Sullivan knew he needed start quickly with a win over Pang in his first match. Pang took the first, before embarking on a 147 attempt in the second, failing on 104 to lead 2-0. The Rocked pulled a frame back, but it was Pang who ran out a 3-1 victor.

The 2021 Rookie of the Year knew a draw would be enough to top the group in his final match against Yuan, who needed all three points to go through. Yuan made 57 in the first to lead, but Pang came back to level at 1-1. They shared the following two frames and Pang progressed.

Over on Table 2, Zhao was in no mood to hang around as he beat compatriot Chang Bingyu 3-0 in a match which included a superb 145 break. Mark Allen was on the end of a 3-0 defeat to Gary Wilson in the next match, before he recovered to beat Chang 3-1.

Zhao knew that he could put things beyond doubt with a strong showing at the top of the evening session against Wilson and he did just in a 3-0 rout. The Cyclone fired in breaks of 123, 46, and 101 to be in an unassailable position and top the group with a game to spare. He ended with a 2-2 draw against Allen.

and the table

Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 09.04.12

Once again, all this was probably written before the end of play. Ronnie did bet Carter by 3-0 in the last match of Group A. That put him third in the table with 3 points and a frame difference of -2, whilst Carter comes last, with 1 point and a frame difference of -5.

Here are the scores of the matches played by Ronnie:


As I wrote in the comments section, Ronnie appeared to be in a bit of discomfort during the first session, frequently massaging his arm. Both Yuan and Pang played very well. Ronnie wasn’t at his best but he didn’t actually played that badly. He did get some slices of bad luck, a bit more than his fair share… in such short matches, it matters.

David Hendon also reflected that he may not have shown his usual level of intensity when 100% committed, but that it was to be expected. He didn’t need to play in this event, he needs neither the points, nor the money. David added that it was good to have him there and in stage 2. Higgins didn’t enter, Trump and Selby didn’t reach stage 2. Williams, like Ronnie came third in his stage 2 group.

That said, although the match didn’t matter much, he was commited and determined to win against Carter and he played really well in that one!

Matchroom Multi Sport have shared the Ronnie matches on their YouTube Channel

Today is the last day of stage 2 featuring Group G with Shaun Murphy, Ricky Walden, Anthony Hamilton, and Elliot Slessor and Group B  with Luca Brecel, Chris Wakelin, Jamie Clarke, and Daniel Wells.

No matter what will happen today, we will have 5 young Chinese players amongst the 8 who will compete on the final day (62,5%). There are 27 Chinese professionals in a field of 131 (about 20%).

David Hendon also reflected on the influence of Ding Junhui. Ding might never become a World Champion, and his form isn’t what it used to be. He’s still young though. But, no matter what happens or not for him in the years to come, he is the one that inspired the snooker boom in China. He had a major influence on snooker’s destiny as an international sport. It took more time than expected, but the current young Chinese generation now looks ready to take a lion’s share of titles in the near future. When I write “it took more time than expected” … well I will add this: those expectations were unrealistic. The difficulties those young Chinese players of the “first generation”  faced were grossly underestimated. It isn’t easy to move alone on the other side of the world, away from your family, to adapt to a different culture, diffrent food, needing to learn a different language, a different way of life. Now structures and academies are in place to help. They didn’t exist some 12-15 years ago. Most young brits wouldn’t be able or willing to do that. Neil Robertson repeatedly spoke about how hard it was for him, and it certainly was very hard. Yet, he didn’t need to learn a different language and the social and cultural gap he faced was comparatively much smaller.


2 thoughts on “2022 Ranking CLS Stage 2 – Groups A and D

  1. Although it was disappointing for Ronnie fans, it’s nevertheless good to see two players fighting it out for first place, who were born in the year 2000. Yet again, the final matches in each group were essentially meaningless. Surely this can’t be good for viewing figures?

    • it’s very good indeed and even better because they aren’t British. I have nothing against any of the British players on personl level, but I do want to see WST forced to stop the “UK bias” that has always been excused/explained by “They are the majority and we make it cheaper for them”. Let’s have qualifiers, if any, close to the main event: the previous week and at or near the main event’s venue no matter where that is.

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