‘Nothing to lose’ – Milkman delivers on first day of new season at Championship League
Robert Milkins made a winning start to the new season by topping Group 24 at the Championship League, the first ranking event of the campaign at Leicester’s Morningside Arena.
The Gibraltar Open champion rolled in breaks of 78 and 69 to defeat Sanderson Lam 3-0 before knocks of 63 and 67 helped him complete a 3-1 victory over Allan Taylor.
With Andy Hicks defeating Taylor and Lam respectively by the same 3-1 margin, Milkins only needed a draw with Hicks to ensure his spot in stage two.
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Hicks made 93 and 61 to start and finish the match, but Milkins did enough to win the group by edging out the 1995 world semi-finalist in claiming the second and third frames.
“I think it’s worse sometimes when you know when you only need to nick a point, » said Milkins. « He was a better player than me in that match and he deserved to win it. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.
It’s a slow start to the season so it keeps you motivated and keeps you wanting to practice. I haven’t played much, to be honest. My table hasn’t been great.
« I am getting it reclothed in a week’s time then I can really start to put some hours in. I played okay today. I played well in patches. I thought I played solid in the first two matches.
« Overall, I am quite pleased. I have nothing to lose now. I just keep going. Even today, I felt like the weight was off my shoulders.”
Aaron Hill made a break of 101 in a 3-0 win against Craig Steadman with 2-2 draws against David Grace and Ben Hancorn securing his progress from Group 13.
Grace finished on five points alongside Hill, but needed a 3-0 victory over Steadman and a higher break than 101 to advance.
In the end, a 3-1 success saw him edged out by Hill on frame difference following earlier 2-2 draws with Hancorn and Hill.
32 winners from stage one will progress to contest eight groups in stage two between 25-27 July with the final on 29 July.
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