Ali Carter 3-1 Shaun Murphy
116-12 (Carter 116), 62-22 (Carter 56), 0-77 (Murphy 77), 92-16 (Murphy 92)
Judd Trump 0-3 Ali Carter
0-102 (Carter 58), 2-71 (Carter 63), 0-104 (Carter 76)
Barry Hawkins 2-3 Shaun Murphy
70-33, 70-11 (Hawkins 69), 0-89 (Murphy 89), 0-84 (Murphy 83), 16-61 (Murphy 61)
Ali Carter defeated Shaun Murphy 3-1 with breaks of 116, 56 and 92 to seal his place in the Championship League Snooker’s Winners’ Group.
Carter took the first frame with an excellent century break of 116 before doubling his lead with a 56 break. Murphy reduced the deficit to one frame with a 77 break to win the third, but the defending Champion of Champions winner couldn’t complete the comeback as Carter took the fourth and final frame with a superb break of 92.
“I played really well today, I tried my absolute heart out”: said Carter after the final. “I came here feeling like I was really struggling for form. It’s painful when you keep turning up and getting beat but this tournament has been kind to me in kick starting my season. If I look back to 2008 when I got to the final of the World Championships it was probably down to this tournament, so hopefully I can get going from here.”
“Shaun was hitting the ball great, it really was one-hit snooker so I’m delighted to get the win.”
Carter had raced to the final after beating Judd Trump in a convincing 3-0 win in his semi-final earlier, an impressive feat as Trump had lost only four frames prior to their meeting in Group Four.
Ali Carter will now join Zhou Yuelong, Mark Selby, and Kyren Wilson in the Winners’ Group, which takes place at Ricoh Arena on March 28th and 29th.
Having finished fifth on the round robin group table, Liang Wenbo will return to compete in Group Five along with Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins and Judd Trump. They will be joined by Martin Gould, Ricky Walden, and Mark Williams. Tom Ford was eliminated from the tournament. Mark Allen withdrew for family reasons having played one of his six round robin games. Matches featuring Allen were therefore not considered on the group table.
Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.
Each group features seven players with each man playing the other six once in a round-robin basis. Every match is the best of five and the winner gains one point with the loser getting zero.
At the end of the league phase the top four advances to that group’s semi-finals before the two winners meet in the final and the group champion advances to the Winners’ Group in March.
The losing finalist, two losing semi-finalists and player finishing fifth move into the next group where they are joined by three new players and the process is repeated.
Group Five commences at midday on Tuesday (January 23). Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com. Group fixtures and results can be found at https://championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/