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Shaun Murphy Through with 100% Record

The seventh and eighth players to reach phase two of the competition were confirmed on Wednesday.

Shaun Murphy won all three of his round-robin fixtures to win Group 8 of the Championship League in Milton Keynes.

The “Magician” wasn’t at his free-scoring best but had enough to see off the challenge of tour rookie Peter Devlin in his first match.

Murphy matched the 3-0 scoreline in his next bout against world seniors champion Jimmy White, shifting through the gears with breaks of 111, 70, and 76.

With Martin O’Donnell also winning his first two matches in the group, a head-to-head between the English pair ensued for the right to continue in the tournament.

However, boosted by a superior frame difference, Murphy only required two frames to advance, and he recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to secure a 3-1 victory.

Murphy was limping as a result of a recurring foot issue, but he didn’t let that hinder his on-table performance.

Meanwhile, Matthew Selt topped Group 7 ahead of Chinese duo Si Jiahui and Gao Yang.

Ben Woollaston placed in last position only months after he finished runner-up in the most recent Championship League in June.

Selt won his first couple of outings before a 2-2 tie with Woollaston proved to be enough to send him through to the next stage in October.

Previously always an invitational event, the third edition of the Championship League in 2020 has been opened up to every professional player and will for the first time carry ranking points.

A total of 128 players will cue up in a unique format which incorporates a round-robin as well as short encounters that will last only four frames.

Because of the vastly increased field, this edition is set to take place over three separate weeks on the snooker calendar.

The first two weeks are effectively qualifiers for the third and final stint of action in late October that will ultimately provide the champion.

There are 32 groups at the outset comprising four players in each, with the 32 winners following the mini-league phase advancing to the second stage.

The first 16 groups will be contested this week, while the remaining 16 groups from phase one will undertake their fixtures at the end of September and into October.

David Gilbert and Irish rookie Aaron Hill are among those entering the fray on Thursday.

Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WST

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