The two-times ranking event winner produced a 3-1 win over Louis Heathcote and drew 2-2 with Stephen Maguire before completing a 3-1 victory over amateur Leo Fernandez, who needed a draw to qualify after shocking recent Tour Championship winner Maguire 3-1 in his group opener.

Dale booked his place in the last-32 group stage at the Marshall Arena on seven points, one clear of Fernandez.

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“I am delighted to get through,” said Welshman Dale, whose highest break of the day was an 81 in earning a point against Maguire.

“I had put some work in on the practice table. I started off in the first match with a cue action I had set myself to use for the season, but felt it wasn’t me and went back to my old one part way through the match.

"I was really focused, careful and diligent out there and it certainly worked today.

“I went into the last match thinking a draw was enough and as I started the first frame I realised I had to win. I couldn’t get in first in either of the first two frames and was behind in both. Finally, in the fourth frame I got in first and I made a decent break and kept the pressure on.”

China's world number 25 Zhou Yuelong won Group Six courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Jianbo Zhao, a 3-0 win over Gerard Greene and a 2-2 draw with Ricky Walden.

Championship League results

Tuesday 15 September

Group Five

  • Stephen Maguire 1-3 Leo Fernandez
  • Louis Heathcote 0-3 Dominic Dale
  • Louis Heathcote 1-3 Leo Fernandez
  • Stephen Maguire 2-2 Dominic Dale
  • Dominic Dale 3-1 Leo Fernandez
  • Stephen Maguire 2-2 Louis Heathcote

Group Six

  • Ricky Walden 3-1 Gerard Greene
  • Zhou Yuelong 2-2 Jianbo Zhao
  • Zhou Yuelong 3-0 Gerard Greene
  • Ricky Walden 1-3 Jianbo Zhao
  • Zhou Yuelong 2-2 Ricky Walden
  • Gerard Greene 2-2 Jianbo Zhao
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