“I’m very lucky to get through, I didn’t play very well,” said 2019 World Championship semi-finalist Gilbert. “We had so long off and then I put a lot of effort into the World Championship so to go out first round, I was devastated.
“I had a bit of time off and it took me a while to get back into it but I’ve practised hard the last couple of weeks and have been looking forward to getting my cue out, but my attitude was terrible today so I really need to have a word with myself.”
Gilbert beat Aaron Hill 3-1 with 2-2 draws against Xu Si and Lu Ning respectively enough to see him progress as Group Nine winner.
Gilbert made six breaks of over 50 with a 98 being his highest contribution in his win over Hill.
China's Zhao Xingtong won Group Ten on six points despite losing 3-0 to Liam Highfield in his final group match.
A 3-0 win over Oliver Brown and a 3-1 win against 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond was good enough for progress.
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Championship League results
Thursday 17 September
- David Gilbert 3-1 Aaron Hill
- Lu Ning 2-2 Xu Si
- Lu Ning v 3-1 Aaron Hill
- David Gilbert 2-2 Xu Si
- Xu Si 1-3 Aaron Hill
- David Gilbert 2-2 Lu Ning
Group winner: David Gilbert
- Liam Highfield 2-2 Nigel Bond
- Zhao Xingtong 3-0 Oliver Brown
- Zhao Xingtong 3-1 Nigel Bond
- Liam Highfield 2-2 Oliver Brown
- Zhao Xingtong 0-3 Liam Highfield
- Nigel Bond 2-2 Oliver Brown
Group winner: Zhao Xingtong