On day three of the Championship League, two more players advanced from the initial stages as group winners.
Ryan Day topped CLS Group 12 after another dramatic climax as snooker’s return to action in Milton Keynes continued on Wednesday.
The Welshman’s round-robin result went to the final encounter after the 40 year-old was tied with Kyren Wilson on four points.
After edging 2-0 in front of the Kettering cueist, Day was on the cusp of booking his place in the second phase next week, but a terrific 111 century break from Wilson ensured that a final frame was required from their mini league.
The ton eclipsed Day’s highest break of the day, meaning if Wilson tied the game at two frames apiece he would have advanced at Day’s expense.
However, the latter composed himself with a run of 86 to move forward to the next group stage.
There was a similar outcome in CLS Group 4, as Harvey Chandler won his winner-takes-all bout with Sam Baird as well.
With the pair tied following their opening two contests – in doing so knocking out more favoured competitors Joe Perry and Mark King – both Chandler and Baird knew that a win would guarantee a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Both Chandler and Baird are ranked outside the world’s top 64 but were able to take advantage of the unique format.
The former stamped his authority on the clash with a timely 101 century break in the third frame to lead 2-1.
Baird knew that he had to eclipse that contribution in order to stay alive, but his fellow Englishman won the last frame as well to guarantee his safe progress.
Day and Chandler join Judd Trump, David Gilbert, Luca Brecel, and Mark Joyce in the second phase.
Once again, all eight players tested negative for the coronavirus before being able to participate.
Accommodation at the Marshall Arena means that players can adhere to the strict isolation measures that are being enforced for this tournament in order for it to run smoothly.
There will be two more groups on Thursday with the likes of Mark Selby and Liang Wenbo set to participate.
The winner of each group progresses to phase two where four further groups will produce the Tournament Finals group of four on June 11th.
A champion’s cheque worth £30,000 is on offer as the snooker players return to some form of normality, albeit under rather unique circumstances.
World champion and world number one Trump safely made it through his opening test on Monday.
Live coverage of CLS is provided worldwide as the sport attempts to capitalise on what is currently a rather barren sporting calender.
ITV4 will provide blanket coverage in the UK and Ireland, Eurosport has earned the rights for the European continent, while new streaming service Matchroom.Live will bring the tournament to fans across Africa, the Americas, and parts of Asia.
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