Scott Donaldson continued his strong form at the 2021-22 Championship League, topping the table after the first day of Group 5 action.
The Scot had earned a late call-up into Group 4 at the event in Leicester after Barry Hawkins’s withdrawal.
And having beaten Judd Trump on Wednesday on his way to the play-offs, Donaldson continued to find clean cueing having progressed into Group 5.
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The 27-year-old, who won this competition two years ago, won his first three round-robin matches for the concession of just a single frame.
Without producing consistently high scoring, Donaldson beat both Martin Gould and Kyren Wilson without blemish in the afternoon.
He returned for the evening session and produced his best performance of the day against David Gilbert, slamming home a magnificent 132 on his way to a 3-1 win after Gilbert had levelled with an equally impressive 127.
Donaldson was finally beaten in his final match of day one by Jordan Brown, who replaced Mark Selby after the reigning world champion elected not to continue in the competition after failing to make the Winners’ Group yesterday.
Behind Donaldson, there is plenty still to play for with little separating the rest of the group, the winless Lu Ning aside.
Ali Carter lurks ominously with a record of two wins and one defeat so far, and will face Donaldson and Brown in Saturday’s afternoon session – Wilson and Brown are also 2-1 after three matches.
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The players return tomorrow for the concluding league games before the top four move into the play-offs tomorrow evening.
The winner of the play-offs goes straight into the Winners’ Group, while the three who fail at that stage and the fifth placed group finisher move into Group 6, action in which begins after The Masters on 17 January.
Already through to the Winners’ Group are Liang Wenbo, Graeme Dott, Zhao Xintong and Stuart Bingham.
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Source: Euro Sports