Scott Donaldson and Mark King advanced to the next stage of the Championship League after topping their respective groups with two wins and a draw in Milton Keynes.

Donaldson, who won the competition in its previous form earlier this year, defeated Ashley Carty 3-0 and then Barry Pinches 3-1, meaning the Scot only needed to avoid defeat against Chris Wakelin to book his place in stage two.

Wakelin had seen off Pinches 3-0 but a 2-2 draw against Carty left him needing a win in Group 22, but another four-frame stalemate ensured Donaldson progressed.

"It is going to come to an end eventually but I'm happy with the way it’s going, especially in this one," Donaldson said in quotes on World Snooker’s website.

"It was brilliant to win this event in March because I had been on the tour for eight years and hadn’t won anything.

"The lockdown hit just after I won that tournament and if the World Championship had been played, it might have been different. We’re all glad to be playing at the moment, it’s strange times."

King started his day with a 2-2 draw against David Grace but 3-1 wins over fellow Englishmen Allan Taylor and Jimmy Robertson were enough to seal his passage alongside Donaldson on Wednesday.

John Higgins, who won the tournament in 2017 and 2018, and World Championship runner-up Kyren Wilson are among the competitors on Thursday.

Former world champion Ken Doherty is the only Irishman so far to have qualified for the second group stage, which will be played at the end of October, after the English Open.