MATT SELT made the most of a late call-up to the Championship League by booking his place in the winners’ group with a 3-2 victory over Judd Trump at Crondon Park golf club on Thursday night.
Selt was invited to play in the event after Neil Robertson withdrew on Tuesday night and made the journey down to Essex from his base in the Midlands to take part in the seven-man group.
He looked like missing out on the play-offs when he needed a snooker on the blue in the decider in his last round robin match against Robert Milkins but Milkins suffered some rotten luck when he went for a long blue, missed and inadvertently knocked the pink in. Selt eventually cleared up to win 3-2 and finished fourth in the group while Milkins, who would have qualified in his place, was relegated.
In the final, he dominated the early exchanges, building a 2-0 lead, but Trump cleared green to black to win the third frame and comfortably added the fourth to force a decider.
But Trump failed to pot a ball in the last, which Selt won in four scoring visits to join Barry Hawkins in the winners’ group next month.
Selt has enjoyed a successful few weeks, reaching the Lisbon Open final and qualifying for the German Masters. He said: “It has been a bit hectic this week but it has been enjoyable and a great experience. I’ve been at this tournament before with Neil and when Judd first moved to the area he came to play in this and stayed at my sister’s, so it’s a tournament I have always watched and wanted to play in,” said Selt.
“My form has carried on this week. I have had some good wins and some tough matches I have lost where I didn’t think I should have lost. In the final I played well but so did Judd and maybe 3-2 was the right result.
“I am playing well at the moment. Coming back for the winners’ group of this is another good tournament with big money to play for and it is a great chance to keep playing good snooker.”
Group 3 of the Championship League, which features Trump, Marco Fu, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Ricky Walden, Ryan Day and Mark Davis, takes place on January 19 and 20.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.