Judd Trump crashed out of the Championship League despite winning his final match of Group 4, as Stuart Bingham advanced to the Winners' Group.
After an awful opening day, Trump was thrashed 3-0 by Mark Selby on Thursday and went into his final match with a slim chance of qualifying.
He finally found some form at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, as he crushed Lu Ning 3-0.
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Breaks of 79, 83 and 103 sealed the win, but Scott Donaldson’s victory over Xiao Guodong in the final match on the adjoining table ensured Trump was left marooned in the relegation places.
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The poor couple of days means Trump will not be in Group 5 on Friday and Saturday, and his focus will now shift to next week’s Masters.
Donaldson’s win over Xiao was enough to book his place in the play-offs. He only got the call from event organisers as a late replacement earlier in the week, and took full advantage. His 3-0 win over Trump the previous day was all-important as he got through on his superior frames record.
Kyren Wilson topped the group with a perfect six wins from as many matches, and he proved too strong for Donaldson in the play-offs - with a break of 121 the highlight.
Wilson faced Bingham in the final, after the latter edged out Selby in a tight affair. Bingham made a total clearance of 137 to move 2-1 ahead, but Selby forced a decider. Both players had chances, but a break of 65 was enough for the 2015 world champion to advance.
He carried the momentum into the final and raced into a two-frame lead. Runs of 71 and 50 from Wilson forced a decider, and he looked favourite as Bingham had started to miss.
However, Ball-run steeled himself and a break of 94 secured his passage to the Winners’ Group.
"I played pretty well,” Bingham said. "[I'm] over the moon to have got some good match practice for the start of the year.”
Bingham faces Wilson in the first round of the Masters next week, and he added: "It was nice to get one over Kyren ahead of next week.
"Next week is a totally different kettle of fish, with the Ally Pally and a packed crowd.”
Following his defeat to Wilson, Selby withdrew from the remainder of the competition. Jordan Brown will replace him in Group 5 on Friday morning.
The make-up of Group 5 is as follows: Martin Gould, Ali Carter, David Gilbert, Kyren Wilson, Jordan Brown, Lu Ning and Scott Donaldson.
Play will get underway at 11am.
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