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Home favourite Tom Ford survives scares to progress in Championship League

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Championship League 2021: Day Five preview and order of play – Home favourite Ford takes centre stage

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Championship League 2021: Day Six Preview and order of play – Brecel eyes second title

Ford scraped over the line in Group 3 on Thursday (ChinaImages/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Tom Ford survived a couple of scares before progressing to Stage Two of the Championship League following a 3-1 victory over Simon Lichtenberg in Leicester.

The world number 22, who hails from nearby Glen Parva, was the highest-ranked player in action at the Morningside Arena on Thursday.

However, the home favourite found himself in trouble at 2-1 behind in his opening two games of Group 3 against Reanne Evans and amateur Simon Blackwell.

But he dominated the last frame to secure a point against Blackwell, before producing a timely 73 to hold 12-time Ladies World champion Evans, who was appearing in her first event since being awarded a two-year invitational tour card.

To qualify for the second stage, Ford needed to beat Lichtenberg after the world number 97 picked up four points from a possible six.

The first two frames were shared before Lichtenberg had a wonderful chance in the next to secure the point he required to top Group 3.

But the German rattled the penultimate red in the jaws of the corner pocket, with his opponent producing a nerveless 39 clearance to go 2-1 up on the black.

A former Paul Hunter Classic finalist, Ford had chances to seal the deal in the next and his frustration was evident as he failed to convert them.

However, he crunched in a stunning 14th red at the vital moment, before clearing to the pink to scrape over the line.

Elsewhere, there were no such problems for Bai Langning, who went unbeaten at he topped Group 10.

The Chinese teenager demonstrated his burgeoning talent with victories over Alan McManus and Ben Woollaston during the World Championship qualifiers at the back end of last season.

And he continued to underline his potential with breaks of 73 and 66 helping him to commanding 3-0 wins over Ben Fortey and former UK Championship semi-finalist David Grace.

That proved enough to secure his passage into the second phase, but he ensured he avoided defeat in his final match against Farakh Ajaib; a stunning long black earning a 2-2 draw.

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Championship league Snooker 2021 Results

Thursday July 22

Group 3
Tom Ford 2-2 Simon Blackwell
Simon Lichtenberg 2-2 Reanne Evans
Simon Lichtenberg 3-0 Simon Blackwell
Tom Ford 2-2 Reanne Evans
Reanne Evans 1-3 Simon Blackwell
Tom Ford 3-1 Simon Lichtenberg

Group 10
David Grace 3-0 Farakh Ajaib
Ben Fortey 0-3 Bai Langning
Ben Fortey 2-2 Farakh Ajaib
David Grace 0-3 Bai Langning
Ben Fortey 1-3 David Grace
Farakh Ajaib 2-2 Bai Langning

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