CLS 2011: Captain Carter Joins Winners Group

It has been a long time coming for Championship League stalwart Ali Carter but at least he has managed to make it through to the winners group of the competition, defeating Mark Allen tonight by a 3-1 scoreline to do so…

Having reached the final of six Championship League group stages in the past without ever being able to quite win one, Ali Carter must have been wondering if he was jinxed but tonight proved not as he became the fourth man through in 2011.

Finishing the group with four wins from six, Ali might have expected to top it but in fact the star of the last two days was Welshman Matthew Stevens who won five matches and made three century breaks to claim top spot. Such is the standard in this competition however, he was then trounced in the semi-finals by Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen who ran in breaks of 71, 93 and 131 to earn a clash with Carter.

Fresh from a tight victory against Marco Fu in the other semi-final though, it was to be Carter who would triumph in the final, a high break of 73 in the second frame turning the tables somewhat on his free-scoring opponent.

While Mark will at least be back in the next group however, it was not such a good day for former world champions Peter Ebdon and Stephen Hendry who both crashed out of the competition with just three wins between them. Hendry in particular continued to struggle for form as he won just one match, a break of 129 against Ali Carter ultimately proving to be scant consolation. His sole win came against Group Three finalist Mark King who at least finished 5th to keep his hopes in the event alive.

For the day’s results in full, click here.