News June 18th, 2024

Wu Yize and Martin O’Donnell became the two latest players to advance to stage two of the BetVictor Championship League Snooker ranking event, topping groups 28 and 24 respectively at the Mattioli Arena, Leicester.


Wu kicked off his 2024/25 snooker campaign as the top seed of group 28, facing 27 year old Joshua Cooper in his season opener. A 3-1 victory from the Chinese potter and a match-high break of 83 in the final frame secured the full three points on offer, despite losing the opening frame thanks to a brilliant 75 break from Cooper.

The world number 39 faced Allan Taylor in his second match of the season, and saw a repeat scoreline of 3-1 in his favour, break of 64, 46, and 86 enough to secure victory and another three points in group 28.

Looking to close out a perfect opening day of the season, Wu took on Scotland’s Ross Muir in the group decider, in what ultimately turned out to be the highest standard match of the day.

Needing just a point, Wu dispatched of the Scottish potter 3-1, who could have also topped the group with victory. A group-high break of 142 in the opener, followed by breaks of 69 and 73 in frames three and four, all but secured the group win for Wu.

Elsewhere on table one however, Martin O’Donnell’s road to group victory was far less straight forward. An opening match that ran over the two hour mark ended with honours even in a 2-2 draw against Rory Thor.

Despite losing the opening frame in his next match against Germany’s Umut Dikme, MoD rallied back to win the following three frames with breaks of 51, 81, and 78 to secure his first win of the new season.

Heading into the group decider against top seed Ricky Walden, O’Donnell required victory with Walden needing just a point. The Welsh Open runner-up’s fate looked sealed in the second frame until Walden missed a positional shot to develop the group-winning final red. A lengthy 53 minute frame ensued, with MoD admittedly getting the rub of the green en route to the frame win.

Momentum swayed and Walden struggled to find any further success in the highly-tense affair. O’Donnell responded with an excellent break of 92 in the third frame before completing the 3-1 victory, a break of 48 enough to secure the three points, and in turn, the group 24 win.

The Championship League is the first ranking event of the new season and was won last year by Shaun 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 tomorrow (19th June), with WST stars Matt Selt in Group 26, and Yuan Sijun in Group 27 set to open the day as top seeds. For details on how to watch, click here.

(Photo by Zheng Zhai)

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