Championship League Snooker 2009: Group Three (Monday News)

It has been a few weeks since the first two groups of the Championship League were completed but it is back again this week for groups three and four. Click below to find out how the action is unfolding today…

Firstly here is a reminder that you can read my tournament preview here, which includes details on how you can watch the action live on the internet.

You can also view the schedule for group three over the next to days over at Matchroom Sport by clicking here.

Scroll down past my updates for a link to the latest scores.


Ding Junhui continued his excellent run in the competition with a 3-1 win over Joe Perry early this morning. His run included two centuries (101 and 120), and is now his third straight 3-1 victory over Perry in this season’s competition!

Ali Carter and Mark Williams meanwhile played out a 2-2 draw in what was an entertaining match, albeit with no big century.


Neil Robertson has got off to a good start in his first match of the 2009 competition, coming back from 64-0 down to clinch the opener against John Higgins with a clearance of 76 to the black. Barry Hawkins, who is making a belated entrance to the competition having been forced to miss out on Group Two due to the birth of his child, also makes a good start by taking the first frame against defending champion Joe Perry.

And that’s 2-0 to Neil, he looks to be in fine form today as his 63 break there included a number of confident mid-range pots that he made look easy. A quick hello to Phil Yates who is commentating on the match, his first involvement in the competition this season having missed out on the first two groups.

In that time it has taken me to type that, Neil has already drilled in a superb long red at the start of frame three…but he breaks down on five and it is Higgins’ turn to start scoring, responding in style with a run of 78. Joe Perry has levelled it up on table two, winning a lengthy tactical exchange against Hawkins…

John Higgins gets in first in the final frame but after a couple of reds and blacks, misses a straightforward red to the yellow pocket and eventually Robertson steps in with a 71 to secure a 3-1 win.

Hawkins restores his lead in frame three of the other match and has the first opportunity in the decider, but he breaks down on four and Perry is in with a chance to claim a draw now…and he does with a fine break of 128.


In the clash of the two-time world champions it was Mark Williams who earned the first chance with a trademark long-pot, but a missed pink on just 13 let Higgins in with a chance to counter. Though he made hard work of it at times, a few good long pots and a plant on 40 helped him to a break of 58, leaving Williams needing a snooker that he failed to get. Ali Carter takes the opener against Ding Junhui on the other table, a break of 33 being the highlight…

Frame two in the Williams/Higgins clash proved to be a scrappy affair, though a poor safety from Williams gave Higgins a great chance to make it 2-0, but he failed to come nicely on the frame-ball green and failed with an attempted double. After a couple of chances that Mark failed to take, he laid an excellent snooker on the final brown, the white being placed behind the black and eventually won the frame from it by clearing to black, levelling the match at 1-1.

Ali Carter now leads Ding Junhui 2-0, could Ding be about to lose his first group match of the 2009 Championship League season in 14 attempts?

The next two frames between Higgins and Williams were again shared, Higgins restoring his lead with a break of 74 to secure his first point in the league, while Williams earned his second of the group with a 55 in the fourth. A good point for both, though Higgins did have his chances in the frames that he did not win and will probably be the more disappointed of the two.

And Ding Junhui keeps his unbeaten run going by coming back to take the final two frames against Carter, though with no particularly notable breaks. Carter will be disappointed not to win the match from 2-0 up, but if Ding continues to play like he did in the first two groups then it is certainly a point well earned.


Joe Perry and Ali Carter both look to be in decent shape at the start of their latest meeting as they trade not only frames, but 66 breaks to leave themselves level at 1-1. Carter got himself in at the start of frame three but missed a black on 11 when concentrating too much on getting good position on his next red and now Perry has a chance to put a break together.

On the other table meanwhile it is Neil Robertson who continues to impress, taking the opener against Barry Hawkins with a run of 41.

Perry could not make much of his chance as he ran out of position on 14, and Carter is back in and making some terrific shots as his score moves up to 45. Another unforced error though means that Perry is still in with a shout to steal it…but he breaks down and Carter does enough for 2-1. The most notable shot in that break was an excellent yellow with the rest, Ali is certainly playing well at the moment.

A clearance of 86 from Robertson meanwhile puts him 2-0 ahead.

Not for the first time today, Ali Carter has let a lead slip and Joe Perry clinches the last frame to secure a 2-2 draw. That’s three draws from three now for Ali, while Joe has two draws and a defeat…

Well done to Barry Hawkins over on the other table who has battled back against Neil Robertson with runs of 85 and 45 to secure a draw and his second point of the campaign.


This evening sees what looks to be an excellent match on paper, Ding Junhui taking on double world champion Mark Williams as both look to secure a top four place. When they last met in Group Two it finished up in a 2-2 draw, will either be able to secure a win this time?

After a couple of chances squandered by Ding, Mark is in and he makes no mistake with a clinically taken run of 84 to lead 1-0. A century was a possibility but he could not finish nicely on the green and he failed with an attempted double.

The first chance in frame two however has fallen to Ding who in and around the black spot is looking ominous…but he has broken down on 56 and Mark is now eating into that lead…and he’s cleared up for 2-0. That has got to hurt Ding because he was looking so comfortable and looking certain to level the match. He will have to pull out another impressive comeback now if he is to keep his unbeaten run going. A fluke at the start of frame three is just what he needed however…though he could only add another red and a blue to that before letting Mark straight back in…

Meanwhile on table two John Higgins finds himself 1-0 down against Barry Hawkins in a match that he could really do with winning. The group is exceptionally close but if Higgins who is bottom ends up losing this one then with one point from three matches, it is hard to see him making the top four…

Mark is just flying and that’s career century number 216 as commentator and BBC statman Dave Hendon correctly points out. He was playing so quickly at the end that poor old Alan Chamberlain (who seems to be suffering a bit with a cold), was having to be pretty sharp with replacing the balls. That’s 3-0 though and Ding’s first defeat in the group stages confirmed. The final frame still could be important however, things are so tight that it could just come down to frame difference so Ding will not be giving up just yet…and indeed he doesn’t as he takes it on the final pink. Still, that’s an excellent 3-1 win for Mark.

Things have not got any better for Higgins who now finds himself 3-0 down against Barry Hawkins who appears to be playing exceptionally well with a 60+ break in each frame…Higgins finishes in style though, a 113 to give him some consolation and improve his frame difference slightly. An excellent win for Hawkins though.


For today”s latest results, please click here to visit the Global Snooker Centre.