Pic: Tai Chengzhe
World number two Trump suffered early exits at the UK Championship, Masters and German Masters and looked set to fall at the last 32 stage in Newport when home favourite Dale took control. But the Bristolian showed resolve to fight back and earn a last 16 tie with Andrew Higginson.
Dale won a scrappy opening frame then added the second by potting the last red after his opponent had got two of the three snookers he needed. Trump pulled one back before Dale compiled an excellent break of 114 for 3-1.
The Welshman had a match-winning chance in frame five but ran out of position on 32 with three reds left then played a poor safety and Trump cleared to keep his hopes alive. Dale had another clear opportunity in the sixth but again lost position on 40. Trump fluked a red and made 55, then won a safety battle on the green and cleared for 3-3.
A run of 50 gave Trump the advantage in the decider, and when Dale missed a thin cut red to a centre pocket his chance had gone.
"Players are changing their game to play slower against me," said International Championship winner Trump. "Dominic was too slow for himself and it caught him out towards the end. He usually goes for his shots but he took no chances today. Some players have a game plan to slow me down and hope I lash out. A couple of years ago I would have panicked in that match, but I showed patience today.
"I didn't feel I had done much wrong in the first few frames. I had to knuckle down. From 3-1 he started to miss a few balls and I managed to punish him. I feel positive about my game and I'm just waiting for my luck to change. I missing long balls and they're going around the table and leaving my opponent an easy chance."
Defending champion Ding Junhui continued his impressive progress with a 4-0 win over Mark King, highlighted by breaks of 137, 115 and 57.
"It was nice to play well, I potted some good long balls," said Ding. "I have practised a lot for this tournament because I haven't done well in the last few. There's a bit of pressure but not much, I just concentrate on the balls."
Joe Perry registered a shock scoreline by beating world number one Mark Selby 4-0. Breaks of 74 and 111 helped the Cambridgeshire cueman send home UK and Masters champion Selby.
"It has been a while since I played like that at a venue," said Perry. "I played Mark in Germany a couple of weeks ago, he beat me 5-2 and took every half chance that came his way. I knew I would have to play well today although I was surprised that he didn't take his chances this time. These days, snooker is all about who plays best on the day, it's not like years ago when you could predict most of the results.
"Age doesn't seem to be that much of a factor in snooker and there are massive opportunities if you believe in yourself, and I feel that my best years could still be ahead of me."
Ricky Walden's poor run of form continued as he lost 4-1 to Tom Ford, who made breaks of 68 and 72 in the last two frames.
Ball by ball scoring and results from tournaments