ROTHERHAM snooker player Ashley Carty upset two former world champions to reach the last 16 of the matchroom.Live Championship League in Milton Keynes.
Carty, the world number 83, beat current world number two Neil Robertson 3-1 and 1997 world champ Ken Doherty by the same score in a winner-takes-all decider to top Group 16 and progress to the next stage on Wednesday. Those results came either side of a 2-2 draw with Kurt Maflin.
Carty led Doherty 2-0 last night but the experienced Doherty pulled back to 2-1 and would have instead qualified had he won the fourth frame by virtue of making the biggest break of the two.
In a scrappy decider that stretched past midnight, 24-year-old underdog from Thurcroft held his nerve to come through and complete the best day of his short pro career.
"I came here for practice leading up to the World Championships," said Carty. "I never really expected to win the group but I proved that I can hold my own against the top players.
"I am over the moon. I got off to a really good start against Neil and quite surprinsingly beat him, even though I know I'm capable on my day.
"I should have beaten Maflin and against Ken I was in shreds at the end. I don't know how I missed the green and thankfully it didn't matter.
"I held on in the end and did the job."
Carty progresses to Group A where he will face Gary Wilson, Luca Brecel and Mark Joyce.
The event marks the return of competitive snooker after the sport was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is being held behind closed doors and observes strict social distancing protocols.