Robert Milkins
Main News, Ranking

Robert Milkins and Sam Craigie reach Stage Two

Robert Milkins got his new snooker season off to a positive start by topping Group 8 of the Championship League on Friday.

The reigning Welsh Open champion enjoyed a terrific 2022/23 campaign in which he landed a £150,000 bonus as the BetVictor Series money leader.

Milkins, who is currently ranked number 13 in the world and just shy of his career-high of number 12, went undefeated at the Morningside Arena.

A 3-0 defeat of Alex Taubman was followed by a 2-2 draw with Muhammad Asif in Leicester, leading to a crunch tie with Dominic Dale.

The latter looked to be in control of the group when he won his opening couple of fixtures and required just a point from his final tie.

But Milkins denied his fellow two-time ranking event winner with a comprehensive 3-0 win towards the end of the day’s play.

Sam Craigie, meanwhile, had a similar route through to the next phase of the competition, which represents the 2023/24 season-opening ranking event.

Craigie beat Fergal O’Brien and Ahmed Aly Elsayed with whitewash displays to move to within the brink of qualification from Group 23.

The 29 year-old Englishman needed just a point from his third round-robin match against Fan Zhengyi.

That’s exactly what he got as he won two out of the first three frames en route to a 2-2 draw with the young Chinese competitor.

Robert Milkins and Sam Craigie will feature again in Championship League Snooker in just over a week’s time when Stage Two gets under way.

Stage One continues on Saturday with two more groups and eight new players set to enter the fray.

In Group 20, Matthew Selt will be joined by James Cahill, Andres Petrov, and Sydney Wilson, while Group 25 will feature World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui, Mark Joyce, Mohamed Ibrahim, and Haydon Pinhey.

Stage 1 draw

Group 1 (July 10)Group 2 (July 11)Group 3 (June 26)Group 4 (July 12)
Michael HoltJudd TrumpCraig SteadmanShaun Murphy
Scott DonaldsonXu SiSean McAllisterTian Pengfei
Rod LawlerJimmy WhiteAdam DuffyLukas Kleckers
Alfie BurdenReanne EvansAshley CartyAndrew Pagett
Group 5 (June 29)Group 6 (June 30)Group 7 (July 6)Group 8 (July 7)
Kyren WilsonMark WilliamsAli CarterRobert Milkins
Andy HicksDylan EmeryJackson PageDominic Dale
Josh MulhollandKen DohertyLong ZehuangMuhammad Asif
Louis HeathcoteDaniel HoloydaRyan DaviesAlex Taubman
Group 9 (July 14)Group 10 (June 28)Group 11 (June 27)Group 12 (July 12)
Gary WilsonRyan DayHossein VafaeiBarry Hawkins
John AstleyMichael WhiteAaron HillZhang Anda
Mink NutcharutHimanshu JainMartin O’DonnellSanderson Lam
Ma HailongJiang JunFergal QuinnJamie O’Neill
Group 13 (July 13)Group 14 (July 14)Group 15 (July 4)Group 16 (July 3)
David GilbertRicky WaldenStuart BinghamJimmy Robertson
Yuan SijunDavid LilleyMatthew StevensBen Woollaston
Sean O’SullivanPeng YisongAllan TaylorLiam Graham
Ishpreet SinghLiu HongyuDuane JonesPeter Lines
Group 17 (July 5)Group 18 (July 11)Group 19 (July 10)Group 20 (July 8)
Zhou YuelongJoe PerryNoppon SaengkhamMatthew Selt
Ashley HugillJamie ClarkeMark DavisJames Cahill
Oliver BrownAndy LeeJenson KendrickAndres Petrov
Rebecca KennaStuart CarringtonRoss MuirSydney Wilson
Group 21 (June 27)Group 22 (June 28)Group 23 (July 7)Group 24 (July 6)
Chris WakelinJoe O’ConnorFan ZhengyiPang Junxu
Oliver LinesRobbie WilliamsSam CraigieWu Yize
Anton KazakovZak SuretyFergal O’BrienHammad Miah
Liam PullenAlfie DaviesAhmed Aly ElsayedStan Moody
Group 25 (July 8)Group 26 (July 5)Group 27 (June 30)Group 28 (July 4)
Si JiahuiJak JonesJordan BrownAnthony Hamilton
Mark JoyceJamie JonesJulien LeclercqBen Mertens
Mohamed IbrahimRebecca KennaJoshua ThomandRyan Thomerson
Haydon PinheyDean YoungBarry PinchesXing Zihao
Group 29 (June 29)Group 30 (June 26)Group 31 (July 13)Group 32 (July 3)
Thepchaiya Un-NoohGraeme DottCao YupengXiao Guodong
Elliot SlessorDavid GraceLyu HaotianMartin Gould
Victor SarkisDaniel WellsIan BurnsAlexander Ursenbacher
Florian NuessleAndrew HigginsonSteven HallworthRory McLeod

Featured photo credit: WST

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