Tom Ford enjoyed a 3-0 win over world number one Judd Trump to book his place in the final group stages of the Championship League alongside Mark Allen.
Leicester's world number 22 lost his first match 3-0 to Stuart Carrington, but recovered superbly as two 3-0 wins over Jimmy Robertson and Trump respectively ensured his progress to Friday's final group stage.
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Ford made breaks of 60 and 63 against Carrington and knocks of 124, 77 and 78 to end Trump's hopes at the season's first ranking event in his home city.
Trump drew 2-2 with Robertson and defeated Carrington 3-0, but could not get the point he needed to finish ahead of Ford at the Morningside Arena.
“The thing that was going through my head is what am I going to do to get childcare. It’s weird being in Leicester," said Ford.
You can’t get yourself up for a proper match. You can’t have the routines. I woke up this morning and I am getting my little boy ready to go to my mum’s and then all of a sudden I am going off to play a snooker match.
“It’s going to be a tough one tomorrow, I played well today. The first group I played awfully, and I just scraped through on the last match. Today, I played awful in the first match but then I started to get down and play quick."
Allen enjoyed a 3-0 win over Fergal O'Brien, a 3-1 victory against Peter Lines and a 3-0 win over Ricky Walden to join Ford in the last eight as Group B winner.
The Champion of Champions holder Allen made 110 against Walden, who finished second in the group with earlier wins over Lines (3-1) and O'Brien (3-0), to record his 500th century in the sport.
It was on my mind because my dad has been at me all the time about it. Before I played in group 1 he told me, he wanted five 100s and I only made three that day, he will be chuffed to make 500.
Allen also rolled in breaks of 115, 56 and 75 in a productive day. Ford will face Allen in the Group 1 opener in a section that also contains defending champion Kyren Wilson and Bai Langning.
David Gilbert, Cao Yupeng, Ali Carter and Ryan Day will contest Group 2 with the action starting at 12pm (BST) on Friday before a final is played between the top two group winners for the title in the evening.
Ford admits he isn't relishing facing the Northern Irishman and said: "Mark Allen does my head in, we’re good friends off the table but I’ve never beaten him. And he winds me up.
"He’s a good player and when he gets in he scores heavy. It’d be great to get into the Champion of Champions, I’ve never played in it before. It’d be good to get a ranking title under my belt."
- Group 1
- Kyren Wilson
- Mark Allen
- Tom Ford
- Bai Langning
- Group 2
- David Gilbert
- Cao Yupeng
- Ali Carter
- Ryan Day
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