Kyren Wilson booked his place in the winners’ group of BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational, beating Matthew Selt 3-2 in a hard fought group three final.
The Warrior initially cruised through the group stage with four wins from six matches before facing English Open champion Mark Selby in the play offs.
Wilson showed true grit and class, making a record-equalling three century breaks during his high quality 3-2 victory over Selby, the highest ranked player in the group.
It set up a group final against Matthew Selt who had battled tooth and nail from the get go. Selt, initially booked his spot in the play offs with a 3-1 win over Robert Milkins, a match that would see the winner take fourth place in the group. Breaks of 64, 74, and 106 more than enough to see Selt through.
In his play off match against group-topper Ricky Walden, Selt quickly found himself 2-0 down, but displayed fighting spirit once again in winning three consecutive frames – and two century breaks to boot – to book his place in the group final against Wilson.
Wilson was made to work hard for his win against Selt despite making a group high break of 133 in the opening frame. Selt once again dug deep to come back from 2-0 down to force a group final decider, the highlight being a superb pink in the fourth frame before knocking in a nervy frame-winning black.
The deciding frame was anything but nervy and closed out in a single visit from Wilson, knocking in a classy break of 81 to complete a hard-fought 3-2 win over Selt.
Speaking with Phil Yates after, Wilson said: “It was quite a tough day for me today, having to play three matches in a row was hard. It was nice to have a break after and came back fresh to play really well against Mark Selby, making three century breaks in a best of five. I was hitting it well at that point and then made a great break in the decider against Matt Selt.
“I started the first day really well and then ended quite badly against Jordan Brown, the win against Mark tonight was great especially against a player of that calibre.
“Everyone seems really sharp at the moment and it is no surprise you’ve got some really good players in the winners’ group so far. It’s great to have another opportunity to play in something, there’s always that dangling carrot that is in the Champion of Champions too so it would be great to get in that event and try and tick that one off next season.”
BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational sees 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 group 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 on February 7th 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 2023 Champion of Champions is also on the line with each group featuring seven players with matches being held over two days.
Action continues tomorrow from 11 am with group 4.