Scott Donaldson has won Group 5 of the BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational beating Jordan Brown in the group final at the Morningside Arena, Leicester broadcast live on FreeSports in the UK and networks worldwide.
There was plenty to play for come the evening session with Martin Gould, Ali Carter, and David Gilbert all within a shout of taking a top four spot. Gilbert had given himself a lifeline coming from 2-0 down against Kyren Wilson in the afternoon session but it didn’t prove to be enough as Carter beat Wilson 3-1 and Gould overcome Lu Ning by the same score line. Those results meant Gould would take fifth whilst Gilbert who won the ranking edition of the tournament in the summer was out.
Brown was a late addition to the tournament replacing Mark Selby in Group 5 and made the most of it in the group stage racking up 16 frames to top the group whilst Donaldson had claimed the group’s high break (132) to set up a semi-final with Wilson whilst Brown would meet Carter.
Carter and Brown had met earlier on in the group stage with the latter coming out on top 3-0 and it was no different in the semi-final with the Welsh Open winner taking just 38 minutes to dispatch the Captain once again. Brown made contributions of 33 and 38 in the opening frame before a break of 80 quickly made it 2-0. The job was done for Brown in the third frame with a break of 67 to meet the winner of Wilson and Donaldson in the final.
Donaldson meanwhile was in familiar territory after losing out to Wilson 3-0 in the Group 4 semi-final and the Scotsman was out for revenge. A 130 from Donaldson in the first frame was soon counteracted in the second frame by Wilson’s 85. Donaldson moved ahead once again with 75 in the third before Wilson again pegged him back to force a decider where a winning contribution of 77 was enough for Donaldson.
When it came to the final, Donaldson came out strong taking the opening frame with breaks of 45 and 43 before being pegged back by Brown who won the following two. Donaldson came back from there though with a break of 60 in the fourth. Brown could’ve got it over the line in the fourth though but left the brown over the pocket to allow Donaldson to force a decider. Soon, Donaldson wrapped it up with a break of 88 that started out as he fluked the red in when it looked to be going safe.
“I am enjoying being healthy and being able to enjoy my snooker. My game has been good for a while since October. I am relaxed out there when playing. It was a good result for me. I just want to enjoy playing and winning.”
Wilson, Carter, and Gould will all return in Group 6 alongside Yan Bingtao, Ding Junhui, and Ricky Walden who will join the competition. Gilbert and Lu were both eliminated after taking sixth and seventh spots, respectively.
Each of the seven players faces each other once in the round-robin group stage, after which the top four players in the league table progress to the play-offs. The eventual group champion advances to February’s Winners’ Group with the remaining players who finished in the top five during the league phase continuing to Group Five which begins tomorrow when three new players join the tournament. The bottom two players in each group phase are eliminated. All matches are best of five.
The tournament carries a prize fund of £205,000 with players earning £100 per frame won with significant bonuses for their final group position and increased prize money in the Winners’ Group. A place in the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions is also on the line with each group featuring seven players with matches being held over two days.
The 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational returns with Group 6 on Monday 17, January from 11 am on FreeSports in the UK and Ireland as well as networks worldwide. Table 2 is available globally on Matchroom.Live excluding the Nordic and Baltic regions.
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