Ryan Day and Luca Brecel will join Stuart Bingham and Ben Woollaston in the Tournament Final group of Matchroom.Live Championship League, which begins at 3pm on Thursday at the Marshall Arena.
Day topped Group B, which also included Judd Trump, David Gilbert and Barry Hawkins on Wednesday to progress, while in Group A, Brecel also advanced with a win and two draws after Ashley Carty failed to beat Mark Joyce in the day’s concluding match.
World No.1 Trump was defeated 3-0 by Day in the opening match but beat Hawkins 3-1 to keep his hopes alive. However, a 2-2 draw with Gilbert put both players out and meant the last match of the group would be the decider. Hawkins needed to win 3-0, whereas just one frame would be enough for Day, and he got that in no time, with a 62 break to take a 1-0 lead in a match which eventually finished 2-2.
“I am really pleased with the way I played all day,” said Day. “To start off against Judd, it doesn’t get any tougher than that and I really came out of the traps quite quickly. It was a good draw against Dave in the end, and being a Championship League veteran I was trying to do the sums and realised I only needed one frame in the last match there and I was delighted to get the first frame and secure my place in the final.
“I dropped into the zone as they call it and played lovely and felt great all day. It has been a long time since anybody has played competitive snooker so I think the break might have done me good and given me a bit of a boost. I felt okay with my game in general but I didn’t really enjoy going away and playing, which is strange, as that’s something I have never really struggled for but I think the lockdown has helped me get a bit of that back and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
On table two Brecel completed his three matches with two draws and a win, meaning he would be hoping Carty didn’t win the last match of the day. Earlier, Brecel had lost a frame with three misses in a 2-2 share of the spoils with Joyce and was left to hope he didn’t rue that as he watched Carty take on Joyce from the comfort of his on-site hotel room.
Carty, though, wasn’t able to get the win he needed and when Joyce took the first two frames of what ended a 3-1 win for Joyce, Brecel was through.
“I am relieved to be through,” said the Belgian. “I didn’t really expect to top the group, especially after the third frame against Mark Joyce when I missed the red three times.
“I got a draw out of the game and knew if I beat Ashley I would have a good chance against Gary, but obviously I was lucky that Mark played really well to get two frames against Ashley. I will be relaxed tomorrow and anything can happen.”
Matchroom.Live Championship League concludes tomorrow with the Tournament Final Group. Bingham, Day, Woollaston and Brecel will be fighting it out for the trophy and £20,000 to add to the £10,000 they have each already amassed in the tournament.