Daniel Wells defied his amateur status to finish in first place of Group 18 in the Championship League on Wednesday.
The Welshman, who was relegated from the Main Tour in 2021, scored two victories and a draw to rank as number one after the round-robin’s play.
Wells began the day with a 2-2 draw against Matthew Selt, seemingly left to rue a missed opportunity as he squandered an early two-frame advantage.
But the 33 year-old responded well with a 3-1 triumph over countryman Dominic Dale, and he sealed his berth in Stage Two courtesy of a 3-0 whitewash of Duane Jones.
In Group 20, Zhou Yuelong crashed out after managing to haul only five points from his three fixtures at the Morningside Arena.
After a draw with Fergal O’Brien and a defeat of Chang Bingyu, Zhou knew a win against Mark King in his last clash would safeguard his continued presence in the competition.
However, the 24 year-old could only manage a 2-2 tie against the veteran Englishman, and Chang’s subsequent 3-0 victory over O’Brien added to his earlier win against King and saw the younger Chinese competitor move forward instead.
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Both Daniel Wells and Chang Bingyu will next feature in Stage Two of the Championship League later this month in Leicester.
The action continues on Thursday, meanwhile, with two more group winners from Stage One to be determined.
In Group 17, Ali Carter enters the fray alongside Wu Yize, Louis Heathcote, and amateur top-up Robbie McGuigan.
Ryan Day fronts Group 25 with Pang Junxu, women’s world champion Reanne Evans, and Dylan Emery also 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