Mark Williams
Ranking, Snooker Headlines

Mark Williams – ‘It was all-out attack today’

Mark Williams denied amateur Connor Benzey in a close finish to emerge as the winner of Group 4 as Championship League Snooker continued on Tuesday.

The Welshman could only draw with the top-up amateur competitor, breaks of 90 and 99 denying the Englishman a career-best victory.

Both Williams and Benzey proceeded to take maximum points from their remaining two fixtures.

That left the pair tied on seven points from a possible nine after the round-robin schedule.

However, whereas Benzey managed to orchestrate successive 3-1 defeats over David Grace and Fergal Quinn, Williams crucially avoided losing another frame against the same opponents.

That provided last year’s runner-up with a superior frame difference, allowing him to progress to Stage Two of the 2024/25 snooker season’s opening ranking event.

“It was not bad,” Mark Williams, who compiled a 115 century break in his last match against Grace, said afterwards.

“I’ve had a couple of exhibitions, but I haven’t touched my cue. I haven’t practiced or nothing.”

“I went for everything. It was all-out attack today, whether they went in or not.

“A lot of them went in, there were a few good breaks, and every match was over pretty quick.

“The only safety shots I played were the break-offs. I went for absolutely everything, and I wasn’t going to turn nothing down.

“In and out as fast as I can. Hopefully win, but if not, out as fast as I can.”

It was arguably even more dramatic in Group 17, which almost went down to the very final frame between Chris Wakelin and Ian Burns.

Wakelin conjured back-to-back whitewash wins over Rory McLeod and Liam Pullen to gain control at the top.

Yet Burns remained within striking distance of his fellow Englishman by beating Pullen and drawing with McLeod.

Success for Burns over Wakelin would have taken the 39 year-old through at the expense of the former Shoot Out champion.

It looked promising when he took the opening frame with a break of 87, but Wakelin responded by winning the next two frames to secure the valuable point he required.

On Wednesday, Championship League Snooker continues with Groups 25 and 31.

In the latter, Elliot Slessor is the highest ranked contender and will be challenged by Ashley Carty, Mostafa Dorgham, and Simon Blackwell.

In Group 25, Robbie Williams will be in action against Matthew Stevens, Farakh Ajaib, and rookie Haydon Pinhey.

Championship League Snooker
Stage One Draw

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Scott DonaldsonHe GuoqiangShaun MurphyMark Williams
Kyren WilsonMitchell MannSteven HallworthConnor Benzey
Daniel WomersleyRonnie O’SullivanTian PengfeiDavid Grace
Baipat SiripapornKayden BrierleyReanne EvansFergal Quinn
Group 5Group 6Group 7Group 8
Ali CarterGary WilsonRobbie McGuiganJak Jones
Xing ZihaoJoe PerryBarry PinchesJordan Brown
Joshua ThomandMichael HoltSanderson LamAntoni Kowalski
Kreishh GurbaxaniHuang JiahaoTom FordBulcsú Révész
Group 9Group 10Group 11Group 12
Ma HailongJackson PageRyan DayJack Lisowski
Ben MertensAndrew HigginsonLiam DaviesMark Davis
John HigginsRobert MilkinsHammad MiahJiang Jun
Artemijs ZizinsIulian BoikoMarco FuAnton Kazakov
Group 13Group 14Group 15Group 16
Si JiahuiHossein VafaeiDavid GilbertFan Zhengyi
Peter LinesLouis HeathcoteXu SiAlfie Burden
Zak SuretyJoshua MulhollandDuane JonesMink Nutcharut
Jimmy RobertsonManasawin PhetmalaikulAndrew PagettZhou Yuelong
Group 17Group 18Group 19Group 20
Chris WakelinStuart BinghamLong ZehuangStuart Carrington
Ian BurnsHamim HussainAlfie DaviesPang Junxu
Rory McLeodAnthony HamiltonLei PeifanGong Chenzhi
Liam PullenAhmed Aly ElsayedJamie O’NeillGerard Greene
Group 21Group 22Group 23Group 24
Neil RobertsonJoe O’ConnorMichael WhiteMartin O’Donnell
Cheung Ka WaiAaron HillRyan DaviesRicky Walden
Jamie ClarkeHarvey ChandlerStephen MaguireRory Thor
Zack RichardsonOliver LinesDean YoungUmut Dikme
Group 25Group 26Group 27Group 28
Matthew StevensAlexander UrsenbacherDavid LilleyWu Yize
Farakh AjaibMatthew SeltYuan SijunRoss Muir
Robbie WilliamsGraeme DottLiam GrahamAllan Taylor
Haydon PinheyFlorian NuesslePaul DeavilleJoshua Cooper
Group 29Group 30Group 31Group 32
Ben WoollastonJamie JonesAshley CartyThepchaiya Un-Nooh
Stan MoodyIshpreet Singh ChadhaElliot SlessorDaniel Wells
Dominic DaleChris TottenSimon BlackwellMark Joyce
Dylan EmeryLiu HongyuMostafa DorghamJulien Leclercq

Stage Two

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
Scott DonaldsonDavid GilbertLong ZehuangMark Williams
Fan ZhengyiStuart BinghamHossein VafeaiBen Woollaston
Thepchaiya Un-NoohHe GuoqiangShaun MurphyStuart Carrington
Chris WakelinAshley CartyJamie JonesSi Jiahui
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Ali CarterDavid LilleyJackson PageMartin O’Donnell
Wu YizeGary WilsonAlexander UrsenbacherJak Jones
Jack LisowskiRyan DayRobbie McGuiganMatthew Stevens
Neil RobertsonJoe O’ConnorMichael WhiteMa Hailong

Stage Three

Final Group 1Final Group 2
Ali CarterJackson Page
Scott DonaldsonDavid Gilbert
Mark WilliamsLong Zehuang
Martin O’DonnellDavid Lilley

Final (bo5)

Ali Carter 3-1 Jackson Page

Featured photo credit: WST

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