Mark Selby took advantage of a Lyu Haitian miss in the final frame of their group decider to earn a draw and advance to Stage Two of BetVictor Championship League Snooker, while Jamie O’Neill also advanced in the final frame of his group.
After 3-1 wins over Fergal O’Brien and Brandon Sargeant, Selby had six points and needed just a point in the last match against Lyu, who had beaten O’Brien but drawn against Sargeant.
The Chinese player took a 2-0 lead, leaving Selby all to do, before he halved the deficit in the third frame. Lyu, though, looked set to clear for the win in the fourth and deciding frame, until he missed a simple red and the three-time World Champion cleared for the match and top spot in the group.
“I didn’t play fantastic throughout the day; I probably played my best at 2-0 down,” said Selby. “It’s a tough format, cut throat, and in best of four frame matches you can lose to anybody, it doesn’t matter what standard it is. It’s just a matter of getting through, so I’m happy to win the group.
“Lyu had a couple of chances to beat me 3-0 and again to beat me 3-1, so he’ll be disappointed there because he’ll feel he lost it rather than me won it, but he gave me a chances and all I can do is pick up the pieces, which I did.”
On table two, O’Neill also went through in the final frame, beating Sean Maddocks 3-1. Ahead of the match Maddocks needed just a draw, but at 1-1 O’Neill won a clutch frame on the pink and then took the final frame to advance.
Earlier, O’Neill had beaten amateur Daniel Wormesely, who would go on to beat group seed Michael Holt, who Maddocks had also beaten.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker will return on Monday, September 28 for the second half of Stage One. Coverage of both tables will be available at Matchroom.Live, with UK television coverage on Freesports.
Live scoring can be found at www.wst.tv. Group fixtures, results, standings and details of how to watch can be found at https://championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/.