Championship League Snooker 2009: Group Four, Day One News

Hot on the heels of Group Three comes…yes you guessed it, Group Four of the 2009 Championship League. Click below to see how day one is unfolding…

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 four over the next to days over at Matchroom Sport by clicking here.

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


After struggling to find his best form in Group Three until his very last match, John Higgins has got off to a flying start today as he already leads Barry Hawkins 3-0, helped by runs of 69, 59, 55 and 36.

Likewise yesterday’s finalist Mark Williams got off to a good start with breaks of 76, 88 and then a 65 in the third frame. While this might appear to have been enough to secure him a win however, Neil Robertson had other ideas as he snatched the third with a clearance of 68 and is now pushing hard in the fourth frame as they are down to just the pink and black…and that is a fabulous pink and black to complete a clearance of 73. 2-2 it is.

He might have lost the match but that is lovely from Barry Hawkins in the final frame of his match with Higgins as he takes it with a total clearance of 144, the highest ever break in the Championship League to date.


This afternoon sees the introduction of Stoke potters Dave Harold and Jamie Cope to the competition, as well as Basildon’s Stuart Bingham. Jamie now takes on Mark Williams while Bingham and Harold meet each other in the second match…

Good start for Jamie, breaks of 41 and 35 giving him the opening frame against an opponent who has already shown today that he is playing very well. Scrappy stuff in the Harold/Bingham match so far, Dave making a 37 break before breaking down and now it is Bingham’s turn to show what he can do. Well eventually Stuart has taken the frame after winning a long tactical exchange with Dave. Mark Williams meanwhile has drawn level with Jamie Cope over on the other table as that match continues to progress at a much quicker pace!

No big breaks, but Jamie Cope has edged into the lead against Williams again at 2-1, while Bingham has doubled his advantage over Dave Harold to 2-0…

That’s more like it, a fabulous clearance of 134 from Bingham as he secures his first win of the group. Jamie Cope meanwhile has completed a 3-1 win over Mark Williams, an excellent result given how Mark has been playing. Indeed Williams will be wondering just how he only has one point from four at the moment because he looked terrific against Neil Robertson earlier on!

And Stuart Bingham completes his 4-0 trouncing of Dave Harold having taken his third big chance of the fourth and final frame. Things can only get better for Dave.


The excellent form of John Higgins today continues as he already leads 1-0 against Dave Harold following a total clearance of 133. Dave is in with a decent chance in frame two though, can he take his first frame in six attempts today?

If he is then he’ll have to wait for another chance as a missed black off the spot brings to break to an end and Higgins flukes a red on his very next shot to start another break…and he clears to brown with an 81 and secures another point.

Finally the first frame over on the other table between Neil Robertson and Barry Hawkins comes to a conclusion and it goes the way of Hawkins following a clearance of 44. That is another impressive steal from him this week because for much of the frame it looked to be heading the way of the Australian.

Higgins meanwhile is 59 points ahead in frame three against Harold and looking good for his second win of the day…and he takes it, 3-0 ahead now and he’s looking really good. And that’s 4-0, Harold was in and actually on a 147 attempt, but broke down and Higgins has come back to snatch it with a couple of small breaks.

Barry Hawkins meanwhile now leads 2-0 having taken another frame on the black with a 34 clearance! And he completes a 4-0 victory as Neil Robertson concedes the final frame in frustration, much to the disappointment of commentator Clive Everton.


Jamie Cope’s strong form has continued into his second match against fellow newcomer Stuart Bingham, breaks of 97 and 40 moving him into a 2-0 lead.

Hawkins is in action yet again (he seems to have played all day long), and is also looking good, moving 1-0 up on Mark Williams who he lost to in yesterday’s Group Three semi-finals. He has completed his revenge now though as breaks of 78 and 125 put him 3-1 up and secure a second win of the day.

Bingham managed to get one back against Cope with a break of 51 but Cope wins the fourth and like Hawkins secures a second win and an impressive start to his first group action of 2009.


Dave Harold’s day goes from bad to worse as he goes 1-0 down against fellow Stoke cueman Jamie Cope in the first of this evening’s matches. Cope went 56-0 up but slipped up and gave Harold a great chance to clear and steal the frame, but Dave played a very poor shot from black to yellow and eventually a relieved Cope finished the job. That means it is nine frames lost from nine today for Dave, surely he has to win one sooner or later…

And there it is, Dave Harold takes his first frame of the day and levels things at 1-1. John Higgins meanwhile continues his excellent form today and is now 2-0 up on Neil Robertson, a lead which looks like becoming 3-0 as John is in the balls…and indeed it is. Not a happy 27th birthday for Neil!

And that’s 4-0, breaks of 96, 94, 59 and 56 completing another top performance from John.

Honours even between Stoke’s finest as Cope and Harold share the last two frames to earn a point each.


What has been an excellent day of snooker took another dramatic twist tonight as Jamie Cope came agonisingly close to a third career 147. In the end though the break stopped at 125 as he missed the final brown off the spot.

The big breaks don’t end there either as John Higgins opens up with a 123 total clearance on the other table to lead against Stuart Bingham. Ever since winning his last match against Ali Carter last night to stay in the competition he has just been brilliant.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the max, Cope has responded well in the next frame and after a tactical exchange it is 2-0.

Well I jinxed John Higgins, Stuart Bingham has turned things around and now leads 2-1! John takes the last though and qualifies for the semi-finals, as does Jamie Cope who completes a terrific 4-0 victory over Barry Hawkins on the other table.

Some consolation for Hawkins and Bingham is that they are in pole position to join them in the final four while Williams, Robertson and Harold scrap it out for fifth place at the bottom of the table. Long way to go though…


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