Championship League Kyren Wilson
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Kyren Wilson Begins Championship League Defence

The Kettering cueist won both editions of the tournament last season.

Kyren Wilson is through to Stage Two of the Championship League after comfortably emerging from Group 16 at the Morningside Arena on Thursday.

The 29 year-old triumphed in all three of his round-robin fixtures, beating Ben Hancorn and Dylan Emery 3-1 before securing a 3-0 victory against Sam Craigie in his last tie of the day.

Wilson won both the ranking and non-ranking versions of the Championship League that were staged during the makeshift 2020/21 campaign.

Elsewhere, former world champion Graeme Dott topped Group 20 ahead of China’s Si Jiahui, Robbie Williams, and Iulian Boiko.

Dott won his first two matches to take control of the league table, but the final bout of fixtures still provided an opportunity for both Williams and Si to snatch a place in the next phase of the competition.

The latter, however, could only draw with Boiko, and Dott’s similar 2-2 tie with Williams proved enough to keep the Scot in first place with seven points.

Kyren Wilson and Graeme Dott will rejoin the action in August when the Championship League eventually moves onto Stage Two.

Week two out of three from Stage One, meanwhile, concludes on Friday with Group 21 featuring Stuart Bingham, Elliot Slessor, Gao Yang, and amateur two-time former ranking event winner Michael White.

Group 22 also takes places with Ryan Day, Hossein Vafaei, Barry Pinches, and Jackson Page entering the fray.

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.

Where to Watch the Championship League

There will be two tables available to watch on each day of the group stages, with the snooker available across Ireland and the UK on FreeSports in addition to the Matchroom.Live’s snooker 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: WST

One Comment

  1. Actually, the Dott-Williams match was the 5th to be played, which meant that the Si-Boiko match was ‘dead’. The order of the matches does matter quite a lot. Generally, after the first two matches, it’s best for each match to be between the two lowest players currently in the group positions who haven’t yet played. This is fairer, and maximises the chance of avoiding ‘dead’ matches or frames. But I agree it’s annoying if players don’t know their start times.

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