Snooker - Carter books Championship League finale berth

Local hero Ali Carter booked his place in the Championship League final group after topping Group 2 in Essex.

Chelmsford-born Carter downed Martin Gould in the final 3-0 to progress to the final group at Crondon Park Golf Club in March.

Gould had to settle for second and a place in Group 3, which will play out in two weeks time, when Mark Selby, Mark Williams and defending champion Ding Junhui join the fray.

“I really enjoy it here and seem to do well but as the schedule in snooker is now so busy, it’s good to qualify for the final group at such an early stage,” said Carter.

“I’m delighted to get through and on top of that it’s served as excellent practice for the Masters next week,” he added.

Along with Gould, beaten semi-finalists Neil Robertson and Stephen Maguire and Judd Trump will return to contest Group 3.

The hopes of Stuart Bingham and Mark Davis, who finished bottom of Group 2, are over.

Twenty-five of the world's top players are competing in the Championship League, the Premier League qualifying event.

Seven groups of seven players produce seven winners who play in one further group in March to determine the winner who will play in the 2013 Premier League.

In each group the top four players from the round robin stage will contest the semi finals and final over the best of five frames.

The players coming sixth and seventh in the group will be relegated and will not feature in any further group matches and therefore three players will leave and be replaced by a further three players.

RESULTS:

Final: Ali Carter 3-0 Martin Gould

Semi-final 1: Ali Carter 3-2 Stephen Maguire

Semi-final 2: Martin Gould 3-1 Neil Robertson

Group 2 matches

Ali Carter 3-2 Neil Robertson

Mark Davis 0-3 Stephen Maguire

Judd Trump 3-2 Stuart Bingham

Martin Gould 3-1 Neil Robertson

Mark Davis 3-1 Stuart Bingham

Ali Carter 2-3 Stephen Maguire

Martin Gould 3-0 Stephen Maguire

Mark Davis 3-1 Neil Robertson

Ali Carter 3-2 Judd Trump

LINE-UP:

Group 1 - Judd Trump, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Matthew Stevens, Mark Davis and Martin Gould

Group 2 - Four players from Group 1 (Carter, Gould, Davis and Trump) plus Stephen Maguire, Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham

Group 3 - Four players from Group 2 (Robertson, Gould, Trump and Maguire) plus Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Ding Junhui

Group 4 - Four players from Group 3 plus Ricky Walden, Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins

Group 5 - Four players from Group 4 plus Joe Perry, Peter Ebdon and Ryan Day

Group 6 - Four players from Group 5 plus Marcus Campbell, Marco Fu and Dominic Dale

Group 7 - Four players from Group 6 plus three Andrew Higginson, Tom Ford and Robert Milkins

Winners' Group - Winners of groups 1 to 7