Ken Doherty proved a bit too good for Jimmy White in Brighton last night, beating the six-times World Championship runner-up 5-1 in the Champions' Cup. Doherty's third win in the competition enabled him to finish top of Group A, leaving White the wooden spoon.
History repeated itself for White, who also finished bottom of his section 12 months ago. In fact, he has won only one match in 10 appearances since the event was first contested three years ago.
Doherty was already guaranteed his place in the semi-finals before start of play last night, while his opponent knew he could not progress into the penultimate round.
Therefore it was hardly surprising the game was over in just more than an hour. Doherty, already with victories against Peter Ebdon and Ronnie O'Sullivan in this tournament, opened with a break of 70 but White hit back immediately with a 57.
Doherty's 118 break in the third frame was the fourth century of the competition and bettered only by Ebdon's 130.
The fourth frame was the closest and longest of the night but Doherty stretched his advantage to 3-1. There was no likelihood of a recovery for White and further contributions of 70 and 74 completed Doherty's unbeaten run.
"To beat Jimmy at any stage is a feather in my cap," said Doherty. "He has always been a player I've admired."
Doherty does not yet know who he will meet for a place in the final but all will be revealed today. He will play the runner-up in Group B, a position currently held by the world No 1 Mark Williams. However John Higgins, who meets fellow Scot Stephen Hendry, or the Benson & Hedges Masters winner Paul Hunter are also all still in the running for that second spot.