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Mark Williams Knocked Out in Championship League

It was the first day of the 2021/22 snooker season.

Three-time world champion Mark Williams could only finish in second place in Group 8 of the Championship League as he bowed out on the opening day of action in Leicester on Sunday.

A runner-up in the last edition of the Championship League, Williams won two out of his three round-robin fixtures but crucially lost to Peter Lines, who topped the standings on frame difference.

Early in the day, Lines had lost his opening fixture courtesy of a 3-1 reverse to Jak Jones, but the Englishman scored a break of 100 in overcoming favourite Williams 3-0 before a 3-1 victory against Hammad Miah guaranteed his progress.

Lines dropped off the Main Tour at the end of the last term but immediately bounced back by graduating from Q School in May.

Elsewhere at the Morningside Arena, Ricky Walden comfortably booked his place in the second group stage of the competition with a hat-trick of wins helping the Englishman to top Group 7 with nine points.

Walden compiled a 112 break in beating amateur Oliver Brown 3-1 before recording back-to-back 3-0 successes against Allan Taylor and Nigel Bond.

Both Lines and Walden must wait about three weeks to rejoin the action, with 30 more round-robin groups still to take place in Stage One of the Championship League.

On Monday, the tournament continues with Group 19 featuring Ali Carter, Dominic Dale, Michael Georgiou, and Sydney Wilson, and Group 23 that includes former champion Scott Donaldson, Alexander Ursenbacher, Aaron Hill, and Leo Fernandez.

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What is the Championship League?

The Championship League has been on the calendar in some way, shape, or form since 2008, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has been intermittently staged as a ranking event.

On this occasion, there are three stages to the month-long competition with 128 players initially split into 32 round-robin groups comprising four players in each.

The 32 group winners advance to Stage Two, before the next eight group winners determine the competitors who feature in Stage Three, with all matches lasting just four frames.

The two players who win their third and final groups will subsequently contest the outright final, with the winner set to earn £33,000 from the total prize fund.

This is the first tournament of the new 2021/22 snooker campaign, and it is taking place behind closed doors at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Primarily aimed at the betting market, the Championship League is available to watch on FreeSports in the UK and Ireland, in addition to the Matchroom.Live online streaming service.

There are various other TV broadcast options around the world, which you can view by clicking here.

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

Featured photo credit: CLSnooker

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