Stuart Bingham became the fourth player through to the Championship League Winners Group after emerging victorious from Group 4 at Crondon Park.
The Englishman finished second behind Peter Ebdon following the round-robin phase with four wins from his six league encounters.
In the semi-final Bingham made breaks of 75 and 66 en route to a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Welshman Michael White while Ebdon went down 3-1 to Mark Davis.
However, Davis fell foul to a similar patter in the final as had been the case a couple of days earlier in Group 3, when he lost 3-1 to Ali Carter.
Again, Davis took the opening frame before losing three on the trot to Bingham, who knocked in runs of 61 and 75 to advance to next month’s final stage.
The 38 year-old joins Carter, Barry Hawkins and Matthew Selt in the Winners Group, where the overall champion will be invited to play in the lucrative Champion of Champions later on in the year.
There are three more groups before then, providing a trio of extra qualifiers, with Groups 5 and 6 being contested next week.
In the fifth group, Davis, Ebdon, White and David Gilbert will be given another opportunity and are joined by Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien, Liang Wenbo and world no.3 Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Welsh pair Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day have been eliminated from the competition after finishing in the bottom two spots of Group 4.
Categories: Snooker News