Ben Woollaston and Elliot Slessor are the latest two players into winners’ week of BetVictor Championship League Snooker, topping Groups Three and 23 respectively at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.
SCORES AND TABLES
Woollaston kicked his season off in fine fashion, beating China’s Zhang Jiankang 3-0 with breaks of 50, 44, 49, and 67. The Leicester potter then followed up with his second 3-0 victory of the group, against James Cahill with a top break of 91.
Group Three’s conclusion came down to the local derby between Woollaston and four-time World Champion Mark Selby, with Woollaston needing just a point against the Jester to book his place in winners’ week.
Woollaston made a superb 68 clearance to steal the opening frame on the black, before Selby levelled at 1-1. Another fine clearance, 78, put Woollaston 2-1 ahead and secured the group-winning frame he needed. And he finished in style with a run of 127 to complete a 3-1 success.
“I played really well, surprisingly,” said Woollaston. “I knew the last match was going to be difficult going up against Mark, he only missed one ball all game, but I managed to play well too.
“I just tried to get on with it when I had chances and clear up. I’ve not played much in the off-season, I’ve played for about two weeks for one or two hours a day, so it was a surprise to be as sharp as I was out there. I’d love to get back into the top 32 again this season, and the aim every season is to win a title.”
Slessor fought through a tough group consisting of Welsh Open champion Joe Perry, Andrew Higginson, and Lukas Kleckers to book his spot in winners’ week.
A 3-1 win over Kleckers got Slessor up and running, and he then made breaks of 67 and 79 in a 2-2 draw with Higginson. The final match of the group between Slessor and Perry was to be the decider.
Perry won the opener then Slessor went 2-1 up, setting up a sudden death final frame. In a fragmented battle, a break of 37 proved crucial for Slessor as it gave him the victory he needed to book his place in winners’ week.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues Monday, 11th July, with three-time World Champion Mark Williams in action on Table One in Group Five live on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and networks worldwide. He’s joined by Rory McLeod, Li Hang, and Andrew Pagett. Gary Wilson leads Group 28 alongside Harvey Chandler, Jak Jones, and Barry Pinches, live on the Matchroom Multi Sport YouTube for free.