Graeme Dott joined Liang Wenbo in the Winners’ Group of the Championship League after beating Lu Ning 3-1 in the Group 2 final.
In what was the final competitive snooker match of 2021, Dott got the better of the exchange at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
It was a welcome return to form for 2006 world champion Dott, whose best showing so far this season was a run to the third round of the UK Championship.
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The Scot took the opener with a solid contribution and followed it up in similar style in the second after Lu missed a tough red into right middle.
Lu kept the match alive with a break of 57 in the third and had a chance in the fourth, but broke down when in the balls and Dott stepped in to punish with a break of 97. Frame and match were sealed by the most outrageous of flukes. On what was match ball, Dott missed a red into left middle but it hit both jaws and dropped in the green pocket.
“I am really happy,” Dott said. “Last night it looked like I was going to be knocked out. I played pretty well today.
“He (Lu) is a hard player to play. He’s a good player, but is methodical and slow, and it can be quite off-putting sometimes. I managed to get the frames open and dealt with it okay.”
Reflecting on what has been a difficult 2021, Dott said: “It has been bad. I’ve not done well. It has been a bit of a washout.”
Dott booked his place in the final by beating Ryan Day 3-2, having led 2-0 at one stage.
Lu advanced to the final after beating Joe Perry 3-2 in the play-offs. There was ill-feeling in the match, as they did not shake hands and words were exchanged by the players following the final frame.
Jack Lisowski will play no further part in the Championship League, as his defeat to Lu in his final group game consigned him to one of the two relegation spots.
Gary Wilson, who cut a frustrated figure and threw his cue on the ground at one stage, was the other player to be eliminated.
The Championship League will resume with Group Three on January 3, with Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Stuart Bingham, Ryan Day, Joe Perry, Xiao Guodong and Lu in action.
The Winners’ Group takes place from February 2-3.
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