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Captain Cruises To Semis

Ali Carter thrashed Robert Milkins 6-1 to make the semi-finals of the Duelbits Players Championship in Wolverhampton.

The win acts as revenge for five-time ranking event winner Carter, who was narrowly pipped to a £150,000 BetVictor Series Bonus last week by Milkins. That came after the Milkman scored a stunning second ranking event victory at the Welsh Open, to catapult himself to the top of the series standings.

Carter had looked set to scoop the bumper payout for himself after his recent win at the German Masters. It was the Captain’s first ranking silverware since 2017. Following a 6-5 win over Milkins in the semis, he thrashed Tom Ford 10-3 in the title match.

This evening’s defeat brings Milkins’ sparkling run of form to an abrupt halt. However, both players look almost certain to qualify for the elite Duelbits Tour Championship, having maintained their positions inside the season’s top eight money earners.

Carter now progresses to the semi-finals where he will face either Luca Brecel or Joe O’Connor. If he were to win the event it would see him pick up two ranking titles in a single season for the first time in his career.

A break of 66 was enough for Carter to take the opening frame. The second was a more attritional affair, but Carter eventually took it, after 36-minutes of play. The Chelmsford cueman then claimed the third with a break of 98 to make it 3-0.

The last frame before the mid-session saw Milkins launch his cue in disdain after an error, but he got another chance and ensured he headed into the interval just 3-1 behind.

When the players returned it was Carter who blitzed his way to the finish line. He crafted breaks of 65 and 75 on his way to three on the bounce and came through with the 6-1 win.

Carter said: “I played great stuff tonight. I was really solid and I couldn’t fault my safety play. He produced some great safety as well, but when I got my chances I took them and I could count on one hand the amount of mistakes I made.

“He didn’t pinch the bonus from me, he won the tournament. He thoroughly deserved the bonus, but that is in the past now and there is no point worrying about it.

“It wasn’t the easiest of weekends. I obviously wanted to win the money, of course I did and anyone would have in my position. However, I like Rob and he won so good on him.

“The confidence is really high. It is one match at a time and four matches to win the tournament. I’ve got two under my belt and it will be a tough game on Friday night. I’m going home for a couple of days now and looking forward to coming back.”