Xiao Seals Final Berth

guodongcropXiao Guodong booked the final spot in the Championship League Snooker Winners’ Group, beating David Gilbert – who earlier in the day had made the first 147 of his career – 3-0 in Tuesday night’s Group Seven final.

Xiao took just over 45 minutes to complete the final, easing passed Gilbert who had been in fine form during the group. The Tamworth man had topped the round-robin phase group table with five wins from six, his only defeat a 3-2 reversal against Xiao which included his maiden 147.

2013 Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao had registered a 3-0 win over Fergal O’Brien in his semi-final while Gilbert had come from behind to defeat Mark Williams 3-1.

“This group was the first time I have played in the Championship League, and I am delighted to win the group,” said Xiao, who takes home £6,300 with a chance to add to that in the big-money Winners’ Group.

“David played very well and will be disappointed not to win and his 147 showed how well he had been playing.

“There were some tough matches against top players in this group but I expect the Winners’ Group will be even more difficult. I am looking forward to it.”

Xiao joins previous group winners Barry Hawkins, Matthew Selt, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Mark Davis and Ben Woollaston in the Winners’ Group, which is played over Wednesday, February 11 and Thursday, February 12.

The Championship League Snooker event is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with all matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.

Each group features seven players with each man playing the other six once in a round-robin basis. Every match is the best of five and the winner gains one point with the loser getting zero.

At the end of the league phase the top four advances to that group’s semi-finals where the two winners meet in the final and the winner advances to the Winners’ Group played on February 11th and 12th.

Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com

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