Scott Donaldson 3–0 Graeme Dott
61-0 (60), 61-50, 70-58
Judd Trump 1-3 Scott Donaldson
56-41, 14-84 (84), 47-51, 0-80 (73)
Graeme Dott 3-2 Anthony McGill
49-74 (53), 107-0 (99), 38-99 (69), 57-45, 64-15
Scott Donaldson won BetVictor Championship League Snooker, beating Graeme Dott 3-0 in the Winners’ Group final at Morningside Arena, Leicester to land his first professional title.
Donaldson earns a place in November’s Champion of Champions in addition to his £20,700 earnings accumulated in the tournament, which was broadcast on a number of betting websites and on zhibo.tv, one of the biggest sports streaming platforms in China.
The Scottish cueman had needed to beat Neil Robertson in his final group game in what was a straight shootout for a place in the last four, and he did so 3-1. He then defeated Judd Trump 3-1 in his semi-final after the reigning World Champion had earlier become the first player to complete the Winners’ Group round-robin league phase undefeated in his six matches.
A 60 break in the opening frame of the best-of-five final set Donaldson on his way and though Dott had chances in both the second and third frames, it was the world No. 24 who prevailed in both for a 3-0 success.
“It is absolutely phenomenal to win my first professional title, I was wondering when it was going to come.” said Donaldson, whose £10,000 winners bonus took his group earnings to £14,200 to add to the £6,500 he had acquired in winning Group Four in October.
“I made a really good break in the first frame and nicked the second on the colours. I made two really good pressure clearances to win the last couple of frames which was really amazing.
“Now I know I can win tournaments. It is a mindset thing more than anything else – I know how well I can play, I just need to tighten up with my cue ball control.
“The turning point was when I beat Neil in the groups because if I didn’t, I was out. It was good because I knew what I needed to do and how I had to play against Neil and then Judd. It set me up brilliantly for the final playing Neil and Judd back-to-back and getting victories. I was full of confidence, hit the ball well and played some good stuff.
“The Champion of Champions is such a great event to be in, I don’t care how you get in it, so that is brilliant and I am really looking forward to it.”
Dott had beaten Anthony McGill in the deciding frame of their semi-final. The former World Champion twice trailed before taking the final two frames to set up a repeat of the Group Four final, which had been won by Donaldson last October.
Gary Wilson, however, joined the tournament history books for the wrong reasons as the first player to lose all six of his Winners’ Group matches.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000. RASSON BILLIARDS provide the official tables of the tournament.
Live scoring can be found at www.wst.tv. Group fixtures and results and details of how to watch can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/.