The Championship League continues on Monday when the second day of action takes place in the new snooker season as two more groups play out with eight players kicking off their campaign looking for a place in the next stage.
We already saw one big gun bite the dust on Sunday with Mark Williams failing to progress and that is likely to have kept the likes of Ali Carter and Scott Donaldson who are on show on Monday very much on their toes.
Day 1 Recap
Group 7 and Group 8 were the menu on Sunday and in Group 7 things went pretty much as expected as the top seed in the section Ricky Walden dominated with three wins from three to take his place in the next stage. There was a surprise in the other group though as Mark Williams didn’t make it through. I had a hunch that he wouldn’t but I didn’t put my money where my mouth was. Peter Lines was the man who claimed Group 8 to join Walden in the next round.
I did put my money where my mouth was in the match betting department though where I took on Mark Williams with Peter Lines. I bet without the draw in play but I might as well have had it counting as Lines powered to a 3-0 win to bring home the first bet of the campaign at a very tasty 11/2. That is a good start and is something we can hopefully build on over the remainder of the tournament.
Ali Carter vs Michael Georgiou
Dominic Dale vs Sydney Wilson
Dominic Dale vs Michael Georgiou
Ali Carter vs Sydney Wilson
Sydney Wilson vs Michael Georgiou
Ali Carter vs Dominic Dale
On the face of it Group 19 looks to be a match between the two professionals with the other two players in the group both amateurs from the top up list from the Q-School after the third professional slated for this group, Alfie Burden, withdrew fairly late on. Ali Carter will be the man expected to make it through but Dominic Dale qualified from his first group last year and will be eyeing up a repeat here. Earning as much as possible will be the primary aim for Sydney Wilson and Michael Georgiou.
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Aaron Hill
Scott Donaldson vs Leo Fernandez
Scott Donaldson vs Aaron Hill
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Leo Fernandez
Scott Donaldson vs Alexander Ursenbacher
Aaron Hill vs Leo Fernandez
Over on Table Two we have a competitive looking group where Scott Donaldson, a recent winner of this tournament when it wasn’t a ranking event and had a different format, will be looking to make it through to the second stage. In order to do that he’ll need to get the better of Alexander Ursenbacher who came through his opening group last year. The other two players in the group come from Ireland. The first of those is the promising youngster Aaron Hill while the other is the Q-School top up Leo Fernandez.
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We have a couple of groups on Monday which look to be two horse races so rather than bet on the group outright it is probably better to bet on the match between the two men in question then if something does go wrong along the way your bet is still live as opposed to getting down to that match and finding out it has already gone pear-shaped. That would be how I would play the groups at the very least.
If I was pushed into a bet I would probably side with the outsider of the two men I expect to contend for each group. That would be Dominic Dale and Alexander Ursenbacher. Dale probably needs to come through more than Carter here while Ursenbacher might just have more to play for than Donaldson as well. The bookies are all over the fact that these groups are set up the way they are though which makes the odds fairly restrictive.
Ali Carter and Dominic Dale were in the same group last year and Dominic Dale won their meeting 3-1 and I think he is value to repeat that victory here. Carter remains a class act but I get the impression that in the height of summer he might struggle to get up for a tournament like this and is just entering it to shake off some rust. That can’t be the case for Dale. He needs to maximise every chance given to him in order to remain a professional.
The shorter races tend to bring the outsider more into the game and Dale is still aggressive enough when the chances come along to deliver the goods. Given that he has extra motivation here I think he is a decent price. This is the final match in the group and you’ve got to think this will be the one that will decide it. That might keep Carter interested and he might yet prevail but the 6/4 on Dale to win here given what happened last year when they met is just too big.
Back D.Dale to beat A.Carter (DNB) for a 3/10 stake at 2.50 with Coral