Snooker Championship League (group 3) - It`s a kind of magic

06:33:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Murphy is probably thinking of a magical spell
"One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal, one golden glance of what should be"... I’m sure many of you have already recognize Queen’s "A kind of Magic" song and I’m also sure that many of you know for what reason I’ve started this article with these lyrics - yep, call me crazy, move me to Canada but Shaun "The Magician" Murphy is the winner of Group 3! :-)) He played brilliantly well these last two days and the hard work is always rewarded.
If the first day wasn’t much of a battle, more then a half of the group’s players earning just one point at the end of the day, the second one was just the other way around. More then one player frighten by the fact that he could be eliminated fought with the entire package to win more frames, more matches and more points for that matters. Even so, there weren’t too many changes in the final draw.

John Higgins had a very bad run, ending the first day with just one point and the second one with two points. This means that he is eliminated from the competition and he won’t be able to take part in today’s Group 4 matches. Still, the bright Scot ended his day covered in glory after crashing Peter Ebdon in a way that one he can do it. Peter opened the match with a 64 break but missed frame ball, this giving John the chance to come in and steel the frame with just one point ahead (break of 65). 'The Wizard of Wishaw" won the next two frames hitting a 56 and a beautiful 138 (witch at that time was the highest break). He entered "the zone" a little bit too late, but he closed his last match in a great form. :-)

Mark has played like a King
The next player who was eliminated was Ronnie’s practicing partner, friend and also the one who replaced him in this competition - Stuart Bingham. The way we found out that he was out was sooo nail-biting, because just like him, Marco Fu had only 2 points and won 11 frames. Stuart played his last match against Ali Carter, but lost the decider (3-2). That match was absolutely insane! Stuart took the first two frames, but Ali recovered and they ended up on a 54-54 scoreline in the last frame. The black was re-spotted and Ali had the first shot, first shot that also meant he potted the black ball. Now, both Marco and Stuart had 2 points and 11 frames won, but Marco cashed his first match, unlike Stuart, so unfortunately for him, Bingham leaves the competition.

The fact that Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter booked themselves a place in the play-offs wasn’t much of a surprise, as both of them were in the Top 5, after the first day and they remained there after the second one (Ali had 5 points, while Shaun had 4). Regarding the next two players who completed the semi-finals team, they were Peter Ebdon and Mark King, each of them with 3 points. So everything was set up for the semis...let’s go boys!

We had some really cracking matches in the play-offs, as all four contestants were at their best, hitting really nice breaks and performing like true snooker masters.
Ebbo - a true and dangerous opponent
Ali Carter took on Mark King in what was one of the tightest battles ever. The two of them were constantly one frame apart, in the end the one who succeeding in claiming the victory being Mark King (3-2). Once again Carter was denied to be the group’s winner and reach the final. He was so close...but Mark was with just a step ahead of him. Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon fought in the same way - by sharing frames, but Murphy’s runs of 97, 32 and 122 brought him the needed 3-2 lead.

The final was just wonderful! King seemed to be the favorite in winning it for he took over the first two frames with breaks of 39 and 63, but Murphy’s rain of breaks was too much to cope with for poor Mark. "The Magician" fired in breaks of 139, 138 and 80 to make a full comeback and win the final 3-2. What a brilliant match! Top class snooker all the way through! :-)
Note: if Mark would had won, he would have been the third Mark to do it :-)))
So Shaun Murphy teams up with Mark Selby and Mark Williams for the Groups Final, while Mark King, Peter Ebdon, Ali Carter and Marco Fu team up with Group 4 players - Mark Allen, Stephen Hendry and Matthew Stevens in another quest for the beautiful victory.

Today’s matches are:

Table 1 (all times are approximate)
10.30 am - Mark King v. Ali Carter
11.45 am - Stephen Hendry v. Mark Allen
Not before 1.30 pm - Ali Carter v. Peter Ebdon
2.45 pm - Mark Allen v. Matthew Stevens
Not before 5.30 pm - Ali Carter v. Marco Fu
6.45 pm - Peter Ebdon v. Matthew Stevens

Table 2 (all times are approximate)
10.30 am - Peter Ebdon v. Marco Fu
11.45 am - Matthew Stevens v.. Mark King
Not before 1.30 pm - Marco Fu v. Stephen Hendry
2.45 pm - Mark King v. Peter Ebdon
Not before 5.30 pm - Stephen Hendry v. Matthew Stevens
6.45 pm - Mark Allen v. Marco Fu
*all hours are UK time

Don’t forget the link for watching snooker online and see you tomorrow for Group’s 4 comments :-)