Ranking June 13th, 2024

Joe O’Connor and Michael White secured their spots in the second stage on day four, while top seed Stephen Maguire made an early exit at the BetVictor Championship League ranking event at Morningside Arena, Leicester.


Despite drawing with Harvey Chandler in the opening round, 2022 Scottish Open finalist Joe O’Connor delivered an impressive and important top break of 130. To ensure the top spot in his group, O’Connor claimed his first win against Englishman Oliver Lines, assisted by a crucial fluke in frame 2.

In his closing match of the day, O’Connor faced Aaron Hill to decide who would advance. Hill claimed the first frame but committed an in-off in the second, allowing O’Connor to level the score at 1-1. The pair exchanged frames to reach a 2-2 tie, which, thanks to O’Connor’s top break of 130 earlier in the day, secured his progression to the second stage.

Group 23 favourite Stephen Maguire fell short in the opening round against Ryan Davies, who compiled runs of 62, 79, and 76, preventing Maguire from potting in the last two frames.

Unlike Maguire, two-time ranking event winner Michael White lived up to his nickname “Lightning,” delivering swift back-to-back 3-0 victories against Dean Young and Ryan Davies. White completed the day with a 2-2 draw against Stephen Maguire, who, despite a run of 111 in frame 3, was unable to stop White from securing his spot in the second stage.

The Championship League is the first ranking event of the new season and was won last year by the 2005 World Champion, Shaun “The Magician” Murphy. The opening tournament of the season runs until July 3rd. In the first phase, 128 players are split into 32 groups of four, with those 32 group winners going through to the next round.

The tournament takes place over three stages, starting on Monday, 10 June. Winners’ Week will run from Friday 28, June concluding with Finals Day on Wednesday, 3 July. The eventual winner will also receive an invite into the 2023 Champion of Champions this November 11 to November 17 alongside the £20,000 first-place prize.

The action continues on Friday, with WST stars Robert Milkins in Group 10, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in Group 32 set to open the day. For details on how to watch click here.  


(Photo by Zheng Zhai)

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