Championship League Snooker 2009: Selby runs out as Group One Winner

Championship League Snooker 2009 enters its second day now and as group one comes to a conclusion, keep track of the day’s events right here…

Again, for details of the tournament please click here to visit my post from the other day and for the latest scores from the Matchroom Sport website, please click here.

Match commentary

11am matches

Stephen Hendry had three big opportunities to take the opening frame against Joe Perry but failed to take his chances and Joe cleared the table to lead early on. Hendry made amends by levelling in the next though, mainly due to a 66 break which ended when he missed a difficult red to left-centre. Shaun Murphy meanwhile leads Ryan Day 1-0 on the other table.

As highlighted by David Hendon who is commentating on the match, Hendry’s long-potting has been pretty erratic so far today and it looks like it might cost him the third frame. As it turns out though, it turned into another scrappy frame, both players missing chances and having more than enough opportunities to win it. Eventually a fluke on the brown gives it to Perry and leaves Hendry probably needing to win the last frame if he is to stand any chance of going through to the semi-finals.

And win it he does, though Perry should really have taken it after Hendry broke down on 16 with the reds nicely spread. Joe could only make 21 though and a 63 from Hendry snatches a draw and keeps his hopes alive. Perry though with just two points from his four games has it all to do now.

On the other table, Shaun Murphy leads Ryan Day 2-1 and has a chance for 3-1 now…takes it, a crucial win for Shaun which leaves Ryan in trouble now as far as qualification goes…

12:30pm matches

Much better start for Hendry this time as he makes a nice break of 89 to take the opener against Mark Selby. The second has not gone his way though as having split the reds and created a great chance, he firstly cannoned the yellow when going in and out of baulk and then played a terrible safety shot to effectively hand the frame on a plate to Selby who made 77 from it.

Hendry looked like bouncing back in the third but when leading 26-0 and looking capable of winning the frame in one visit, he got a terrible kick on a red to left centre and left Selby in with a chance to counter. He didn’t take it though and Hendry responded well by taking the frame with his next scoring visit to guarantee another draw.

Further good news for Hendry from the other table as Ding Junhui moves 2-0 up against Ali Carter, giving Stephen a chance to move into third place in the group if he can win the next frame and Ding can complete his win.

Well Hendry has done what he had to do, taking the last frame to record his first win in the Championship League and move up to third in the table at the moment. Strange old day, he looked very poor during his first match against Perry but in his second came out and played really well barring the second frame, not sure how to explain that! As for  Mark Selby, the defeat doesn’t hurt him too much though and he still looks good to finish second in the group and move into the last four.

Ali Carter has got one frame back but Ding punishes a missed green with a great break of 115 to win the match and move up to nine points.

2pm matches

Now for a must-win match for Ryan Day as he faces the group leader Ding Junhui and he started off well by making a nice 55 break. Unfortunately for him though it proved to be nowhere near enough as Ding cleared with 76 and continued his excellent form this week.

Ding just on fire now, it’s 2-0 with a couple of nice breaks and his terrific potting shows just why he has dominated this competition so far over the last day and a half.

3-0 now with a break of 93, by my reckoning that’s Ryan Day pretty much out of the competition as Ding looks like he can’t miss. Joe Perry meanwhile takes the opener against Shaun Murphy in what is probably last chance saloon time for him too…

Credit to Ryan Day, he kept going and got himself a consolation frame to end up losing 3-1, but in truth it doesn’t do a lot for his position. Ding though finishes unbeaten now with 11 points and will be a warm favourite when he returns later for the semi-finals.

Another frame for Joe Perry, a win here would be a timely boost and a win it is as he takes frame three too. He completes the first whitewash of the week soon after and leaves the group looking very interesting with just one point separating Stephen Hendry in third place and Shaun Murphy in sixth.

3:30pm matches

Ryan Day comes into his match against Stephen Hendry as the only player definitely heading home from the event tonight and perhaps it showed as he gave his opponent a couple of chances in frame one to win the frame. He fought back well in the next though and levelled things up at 1-1.

It is a shame that Ryan could not play this well earlier on as from 49-0 down in frame three he has cleared to lead Hendry 2-1, meaning that Stephen is far from assured of a place in the top five just yet, particularly with Shaun Murphy leading Mark Selby on the other table.

And Day takes a scrappy final frame to record his first win of the week in his last match. While it is only a consolation for him, it throws the group wide open again and leaves Hendry’s fate out of his own hands…

Looking at the table closely, I might be wrong but I think that while Hendry looks likely to be coming back tomorrow for group two, if Shaun Murphy manages to take another frame against Mark Selby, there is no way that Hendry can make the final four as he will be leapfrogged by either Joe Perry or Ali Carter later on this evening.

But he doesn’t, Mark Selby recovers from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with the recent UK Champion and leave Hendry breathing a sigh of relief as he will definitely be returning for tomorrow, and quite possibly the semi-finals later on today. Murphy meanwhile will not be in the semi-finals and quite possibly will not be taking part in group two.

All will become clear after the conclusion of the match between Ali Carter and Joe Perry which currently stands at 2-1 to Perry…but Ali Carter has taken the last frame to snatch a 2-2 draw.

I THINK that puts them both into the semi-finals, leaving Stephen Hendry in 5th and sending Shaun Murphy home along with Ryan Day, though I am waiting for confirmation on that…

Yes that is the situation because although Perry, Carter and Hendry all end up with five points, Perry has won more frames than the other two so goes through in third, and Carter reached two frames first in his match with Hendry last night, so progresses as a result. It is not all bad for Hendry as he will be back tomorrow, but he won’t be involved with the semi-finals tonight, indeed they are:

Ding Junhui v Ali Carter

Mark Selby v Joe Perry

Apologies for the lack of updates tonight, has been a good session though as Ali Carter got off to a flyer with the highest break of the week so far (132) before Ding responded by taking the next two, needing just one more to win their best of five clash.

Whoever wins will face Mark Selby who comfortably defeated Joe Perry just now, recording a 3-0 scoreline to boost his chances of qualifying for the Premier League again. If it does turn out to be Ding against Selby then it is probably the final that the group deserves and it would be very hard to call a winner.

Ali Carter though had other ideas and hung in there to win the next two frames, winning the match 3-2 with a second century and setting up a final with Selby which will start shortly. It just goes to show that being the best player during the league stage counts for nothing when you make it into the semis! At least he will get another couple of days match practice now in group two though so it’s not all bad news for Ding.

Brilliant start to this final as Mark Selby knocks in a total clearance of 133 to get the match starting, just eclipsing Ali’s earlier 132 as the highest break of the week so far. Carter though hits right back and levels the match at 1-1 with a nice 70 break of his own.

The high standard continues after Carter misses a straightforward pink to left-centre and Selby punishes him with 82 to restore his lead.

No big break in frame four but eventually it is Selby who wins it to secure a 3-1 win and with it victory in the first group. As a result he will be back at the end of March for the winners group and will be hoping to go one better than last year and qualify for the Premier League. As an aside he has gained £3,000 for winning the group, as well as £1,900 in frame bonus, no bad for two days work!

For Carter it is a familiar story as last year he lost in the final of several groups and eventually failed to qualify for the League. Still, it gives him an opportunity to get some more money and some more valuable match practice under his belt as we approach the Masters.

Final Result:

Mark Selby 3-1 Ali Carter

Mark Selby wins the group

Semi-final Results:

Mark Selby 3-0 Joe Perry

Ding Junhui 2-3 Ali Carter


Ali Carter 2-2 Joe Perry

Shaun Murphy 2-2 Mark Selby

Stephen Hendry 1-3 Ryan Day

Joe Perry 4-0 Shaun Murphy

Ryan Day 1-3 Ding Junhui

Ali Carter 1-3 Ding Junhui

Stephen Hendry 3-1 Mark Selby

Stephen Hendry 2-2 Joe Perry

Shaun Murphy 3-1 Ryan Day

For full frame scores and the latest league table, please click here.