Stuart Bingham secured his place in the Championship League Winners’ Group after beating the in-form Kyren Wilson 3-2 in the Group Four final.
The winner of the invitational event in 2015, Bingham was one of four former champions in action at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on Thursday.
Although, it proved a day to forget for three-time victor Judd Trump, who was eliminated after just two wins from six matches.
Despite a 3-2 defeat by Lu Ning earlier in the day, Bingham secured third place following a commanding 3-0 victory over 2020 winner Scott Donaldson
Ballrun then recovered from 2-1 down in the semi-finals against Mark Selby, who has subsequently withdrawn from the event to rest a neck injury ahead of next week’s Masters, to advance to the showpiece.
Awaiting him was two-time champion Wilson, who continued his rich vein of form in this tournament. Indeed, the Warrior topped the group after six successive wins.
The world number five then put Donaldson to the sword 3-0 in the semis, making breaks of 121 and 75 along the way.
Bingham, who hit a top break of 137 in his win over Selby, built on that momentum with a run of 64 helping him establish a 2-0 lead over Wilson.
Looking to make it eight wins from eight in Group Four, the former World finalist hit back with 71 and 50 to force a decider.
However, the world number 12 was not to be denied; a timely clearance of 94 meaning he joins Liang Wenbo, Graeme Dott and Zhao Xintong in the Winners’ Group next month.
“I played pretty solid since I have been here over the last four days,” he said. “I am over the moon. It’s a great start to the year.
“I felt like my game has been there and not turned up.
“It’s nice this week to turn up and make a few 100s, just to hopefully put me in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Championship League Snooker 2021-22 Group Four Results
Wednesday, January 5
Judd Trump 0-3 Scott Donaldson
Kyren Wilson 3-1 Lu Ning
Judd Trump 2-3 Stuart Bingham
Mark Selby 3-2 Xiao Guodong
Kyren Wilson 3-2 Scott Donaldson
Stuart Bingham 3-1 Xiao Guodong
Judd Trump 2-3 Kyren Wilson
Mark Selby 3-2 Lu Ning
Kyren Wilson 3-1 Stuart Bingham
Lu Ning 2-3 Scott Donaldson
Mark Selby 3-1 Stuart Bingham
Judd Trump 3-1 Xiao Guodong
Thursday, January 6
Xiao Guodong 2-3 Lu Ning
Mark Selby 3-0 Scott Donaldson
Stuart Bingham 2-3 Lu Ning
Mark Selby 2-3 Kyren Wilson
Mark Selby 3-0 Judd Trump
Kyren Wilson 3-0 Xiao Guodong
Xiao Guodong 1-3 Scott Donaldson
Judd Trump 3-0 Lu Ning
Kyren Wilson 3-0 Scott Donaldson
Mark Selby 2-3 Stuart Bingham
Kyren Wilson 2-3 Stuart Bingham