Murphy Stevens
Main News, Ranking

Shaun Murphy and Matthew Stevens Through

The 2005 World Championship finalists topped their respective groups in Leicester.

Shaun Murphy and Matthew Stevens qualified for Stage Two of the Championship League at the Morningside Arena on Wednesday.

Murphy played his first matches since losing the 2021 World Snooker Championship final in May, kicking things off in Group 17 with a 3-0 victory against amateur Michael Collumb.

The Englishman followed that up by beating Chen Zifan, and a draw against Jamie Jones in his last fixture proved to be enough to hold the Welshman at bay in the league standings.

Stevens, Meanwhile, won two out of his three encounters in Group 15 to place in first place on six points ahead of Ross Muir, Mark King, and Andrew Pagett.

It was a closely contested group, but Stevens earned victories over Muir and King either side of a defeat against Pagett.

Both Murphy and Stevens will rejoin the lengthy Championship League when Stage Two finally begins next week.

On Thursday, the penultimate day of Stage One takes place with Group 30 featuring David Gilbert, Liam Highfield, Jamie Wilson, and amateur Sanderson Lam.

Group 11 is also on the schedule with Zhao Xintong, Joe O’Connor, Andy Hicks, and David Lilley set to enter the fray in the competition.

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.

Meanwhile, for a chance to win some money of your own, click here for the latest information, reviews, and bonus codes that are on offer from the UK’s top online casinos.

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

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