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Championship League 2021: Day Five preview and order of play – Home favourite Ford takes centre stage

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Unbeaten Barry Hawkins battles through in Championship League

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Home favourite Tom Ford survives scares to progress in Championship League

Ford is targeting his first ranking title (ChinaImages/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Home favourite Tom Ford headlines day five as the 2021 Championship League continues at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on Thursday.

Ford, who hails from nearby Glen Parva, is the highest-ranked player in action as he heads Group 3.

The world number 22 is launching his 20th season on the main tour, and will hope it is one in which he climbs into the top 16 for the first time.

A former ranking event finalist at the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic, Ford’s quest to achieve that begins with him attempting to reach Stage Two of this competition.

One of the players standing in his way is 12-time Ladies World champion Reanne Evans, who plays in her first event since gaining a two-year invitational tour card.

World number 97 Simon Lichtenburg, who has never been past the last 64 of any ranking event, also provides opposition, as does amateur Simon Blackwell.

Group 10 also takes centre stage on Thursday, with David Grace joined by Farakh Ajaib, Bai Langning and Ben Fortey.

A Northern Ireland Open semi-finalist last season, world number 59 Grace will be targeting a strong campaign as he looks to move away from the threat of relegation from the tour.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ajaib managed just four wins throughout last term – one of those coming in this event and two during the inaugural short-format ProTour Series – and shall hope for better fortunes this time around.

Chinese teenager Bai demonstrated his burgeoning talent with victories over Alan McManus and Ben Woollaston during the backend of last season. Although those were not enough to maintain his brief professional status, he will look to make another positive impression in this event.

The players face each other once in the group with all matches contested over the best of four frames.

Each player will receive three points for a win and one for a draw; the one with the most will top the group and secure a place in Stage Two of the competition.


Championship league Snooker 2021 Schedule

Thursday July 22

Group 3 & Group 10

Tom Ford v Simon Blackwell (Group 3)
David Grace v Farakh Ajaib (Group 10)

Simon Lichtenberg v Reanne Evans (Group 3)
Ben Fortey v Bai Langning (Group 10)

Simon Lichtenberg v Simon Blackwell (Group 3)
Ben Fortey v Farakh Ajaib (Group 10)

Tom Ford v Reanne Evans (Group 3)
David Grace v Bai Langning (Group 10)

Reanne Evans v Simon Blackwell (Group 3)
Ben Fortey v David Grace (Group 10)

Tom Ford v Simon Lichtenberg (Group 3)
Farakh Ajaib v Bai Langning (Group 10)