Championship League 2010: Group Two, Day Two

Following in the footsteps of Group One winner Stephen Maguire, John Higgins has become the second Scot to qualify for the winner’s group of the Championship League with a 3-0 victory over Ali Carter. There have also been some shock exits from an eventful day in Essex…

Day Two Results from Global Snooker:

Play-off Final:

John Higgins (£3,900) 3-0 (£2,000) Allister Carter
61-15, 61(54)-20, 1-104(85)

Ali Carter may have defeated John Higgins 3-1 yesterday in the group stage but it counted for nothing today as the Scot recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory to join Stephen Maguire in the winner’s group.

It has been some turnaround for John as after finishing fifth in the opening group having struggled for form on Monday and Tuesday, he recorded four wins from six matches in this group and having come back from the brink against Judd Trump in the semi-final, was able to take full advantage.

For Ali Carter the news is not all bad as it means that he will be able to come back in Group Three and try again, but he has now lost all five of the group finals that he has played in the event since 2008!

Play-off Semi-finals:

Judd Trump (£1,600) 2-3 (£900) John Higgins
46-0, 91(91)-7, 0-74(74), 26-68, 0-98(70)
Marco Fu (£1,000) 0-3 (£900) Allister Carter
36-66, 36-74, 0-87(82)

For the second consecutive Championship League group, defending champion Judd Trump has exited the tournament at the semi-final stage, this time to provisional world number one John Higgins. Having won one match each against each other this week, this was effectively a decider and Judd started wellby taking the first two frames with a high break of 91. John however is always a danger and rebounded with runs of 74 and 70 to complete a 3-2 win and book his place in the final.

His opponent would be Ali Carter, no stranger to the business end of Championship League group stages having reached four previously and a winner tonight over Marco Fu in the second semi-final. Marco had actually defeated Ali 3-1 earlier in the day but this time he was not to come close as Ali won each of the three frames played in no time.

Group Ties:

Judd Trump 2-3 Neil Robertson
8-131(131), 81-0, 72(55)-38, 4-122(104), 23-104(103)
Mark Selby 0-3 Marco Fu
12-74, 1-86(86), 48-74
Allister Carter 1-3 Marco Fu
56(46)-57, 109(92)-8, 59-70, 56-70(69c)
Ronnie O’Sullivan 0-3 John Higgins
48-65(44), 4-72(68), 58(58)-67(67c)
Judd Trump 3-0 Ronnie O’Sullivan
107(107)-4, 73(51)-30, 79(71)-15
Mark Selby 3-2 Neil Robertson
61-27, 63(40)-48, 60(60-73(35c), 64-71, 81-46
Allister Carter 3-0 Neil Robertson
76(52)-0, 68(67)-24, 131(127)-7
Judd Trump 1-3 Marco Fu
15-70(70), 67-35, 14-119(62),
Mark Selby 0-3 John Higgins
7-117(75), 40(39)-68(58), 46(46)-63(63c)

What a day of snooker at Crondon Park as two of the most fancied men to win the group in Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby both crashed out of the tournament today. For Ronnie it was a day to forget as having won two of his four matches yesterday, he could not win a frame today as he was whitewashed by both John Higgins and Judd Trump. As a result he not only was unable to qualify for the final four, but he actually finished bottom of the group and exits the tournament as a result!

Mark Selby could do little better as although he was able to edge out Neil Robertson with the help of a 127 break, defeats to John Higgins and Marco Fu saw him also finish up with just two wins in Group Two.

Having endured a poor 2009 by his standards, Marco Fu surprised by winning five of his six matches to finish top of the group overall. He will face Ali Carter in the semi-finals after the world number five finished up with three victories for the group.

The other semi-final will see John Higgins come up against Judd Trump, a repeat of the 2008 Grand Prix semi-final which saw Higgins come through on his way to the title.