ALI CARTER and Stuart Bingham joined fellow Essex man Matt Selt and Kent’s Barry Hawkins in the winners’ group of the Championship League following groups 3 and 4 at Crondon Park golf club this week.

Carter, from Chelmsford, defeated Mark Davis 3-1 in their group 3 final, compiling a break of 129 in the second frame.

“It was a tough group but I really started to find my game towards the end in the semi-finals and the final. I didn’t have a good first day but I played myself into it and I am delighted to get through," Carter said.

Carter beat Basildon's Bingham 3-0 in the semi-finals but Bingham survived a lengthy day’s snooker to win group 4 two days later.

Bingham, who had started the competition in group 1, beat Davis 3-1 in a match which ended at 10.40pm. His 3-0 semi-final victory over Michael White finished before Davis’s semi against Peter Ebdon had started due to matches over-running.

“I felt I was getting better as the group went on and I managed to beat Mark in a scrappy affair in the final,” Bingham said.

“This is the longest I have been in this tournament for. It is on my doorstep but I always seem to get beaten in my first group. I’m looking forward to the winners’ group and it is a bit of all-Essex at the moment with Ali Carter and Matt Selt and now myself.”

The fifth group, which includes Ronnie O’Sullivan, starts on Monday with group 6 following on Wednesday.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.