The Irishman has taken full advantage of the short format to move to within the brink of a place in the final.
Ken Doherty won Group E in stage two of the Championship League after going unbeaten on Wednesday in Milton Keynes.
The Dubliner shared a point with the group’s top seed Thepchaia Un-Nooh following a scrappy tie and backed that up with a 3-1 success against Xiao Guodong.
The results left Doherty on four points alongside Un-Nooh with the same frame difference, and after both players drew their final contests it was down to who compiled the highest break to determine which player would advance.
The Thai had constructed a brilliant 135 in his earlier match against Jordan Brown, but Doherty eclipsed it with a superb 139 against the same opponent to squeak through by the narrowest of margins.
Doherty, whose phase one group comprised Neil Robertson, has bounced back strongly since squandering a 4-0 World Seniors Championship final lead in an eventual 5-4 defeat to Jimmy White.
His progress in the Championship League represents the first time since 2017 that he has reached the last eight of a ranking event.
How’s your nerve? @kendoherty1997 𝐭𝐨𝐩𝐬 Group F with a superb 139 clearance in the third frame to guarantee at least a point by surpassing the highest break in the group of 135 👏
— Championship League Snooker (@CLSnooker) October 28, 2020
Also set to feature in the 51 year-old’s final group is Kyren Wilson after the World Championship runner-up topped Group F with seven points.
Wilson easily beat Mark King in his first match before earning another point with a draw against March’s Championship League winner Scott Donaldson.
A variety of results could have left the Kettering cueist in trouble, but he outplayed David Gilbert in his last bout to comfortably make it through.
Doherty and Wilson must wait to learn their other two opponents in the next phase of the revamped Championship League later this week.
Concluding stage two will be Groups G and H, with former champions John Higgins and Martin Gould involved in the former and original 2008 Championship League winner Joe Perry in action in the latter.
Featured photo credit: WST