Luca Brecel held on to finish top in Group 10 of the Championship League on Friday at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
The reigning Scottish Open champion won his opening two fixtures with 3-0 and 3-1 victories against amateur top-up Zhao Jianbo and Oliver Brown respectively.
That left Brecel on six points from a possible six ahead of a final-fixture clash with Robbie Williams.
The latter’s 2-2 tie with Brown and 3-1 defeat of Zhao meant that a triumph over Brecel would prove to be enough to leapfrog the 27 year-old.
It looked promising for Williams when he established an early 2-0 advantage, but Brecel fought back superbly with breaks of 67 and 98 to maintain his cushion in the league standings.
The Belgian Bullet is a previous winner of the Championship League, albeit he triumphed when it was staged as a non-ranking variation back in 2020.
Meanwhile, Lu Ning progressed from Group 29 with a 100% record after dominating proceedings while losing only two frames.
Lu beat John Astley 3-1 in his first encounter before a 3-0 success over fellow Chinese competitior Chen Zifan took him to within the brink of the last 32.
Lu needed only a point to guarantee moving forward in the competition from his remaining tie with Oliver Lines, but he ended the day in style with a 3-1 win and a top break of 135.
Both Luca Brecel and Lu Ning will next participate in Stage Two of the Championship League later this month in Leicester.
- Click here: British Open: 2022 draw, preview, where to watch
There’s a break for the weekend before the action resumes on Monday, with world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan set to enter the fray.
The Rocket’s first appearance of the 2022/23 snooker season will be in Group 1 alongside Alexander Ursenbacher, Alfie Burden, and Farakh Ajaib.
Group 27 will also take place with Jamie Jones, Sam Craigie, David Lilley, and recent European amteur champion Andres Petrov all involved.
Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST