Michael Holt made the most of his late opportunity to participate in Championship League Snooker by topping Group 1 on Monday.
The former Snooker Shoot Out champion was a replacement for Ronnie O’Sullivan, who withdrew from the ranking event at the Morningside Arena.
Holt, who is competing as an amateur top-up after dropping off the tour at the end of the 2021/22 season, first beat Scott Donaldson 3-1.
A reverse defeat by the same margin to Rod Lawler left him with work to do ahead of his final round-robin fixture with Alfie Burden.
The latter had appeared to be in control of proceedings having already beaten both Donaldson and Lawler to the loss of just one frame.
Indeed, Burden would have advanced to Stage Two of the competition by winning a single frame against Holt.
But the Hitman secured the 3-0 whitewash victory that he needed in order to usurp Burden in top spot by frame difference.
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Meanwhile, it was even more dramatic in Group 19 where Noppon Saengkham and Mark Davis played out a tense final crunch tie.
After beating both Ross Muir and Jenson Kendrick, Saengkham needed to score only a draw against Davis to move through.
However, the latter could have pinched first place with a victory over the Thai, and it looked good for Davis when he established a 2-1 lead.
But Saengkham clinched the fourth frame on the very last black to just about hold onto the top spot.
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Both Michael Holt and Noppon Saengkham will continue their Championship League Snooker journeys in the last 32 round of groups next week in Leicester.
On Tuesday, Judd Trump enters the fray in Group 2 alongside Jimmy White, Xu Si, and Reanne Evans.
In Group 18, Joe Perry is in action with Jamie Clarke, Stuart Carrington, and Andy Lee.
Stage 1 draw
|Group 1 (July 10)||Group 2 (July 11)||Group 3 (June 26)||Group 4 (July 12)|
|Michael Holt||Judd Trump||Shaun Murphy|
|Xu Si||Tian Pengfei|
|Jimmy White||Lukas Kleckers|
|Reanne Evans||Ashley Carty||Andrew Pagett|
|Group 5 (June 29)||Group 6 (June 30)||Group 7 (July 6)||Group 8 (July 7)|
|Kyren Wilson||Mark Williams||Robert Milkins|
|Group 9 (July 14)||Group 10 (June 28)||Group 11 (June 27)||Group 12 (July 12)|
|Gary Wilson||Barry Hawkins|
|John Astley||Michael White||Zhang Anda|
|Mink Nutcharut||Martin O’Donnell||Sanderson Lam|
|Ma Hailong||Jamie O’Neill|
|Group 13 (July 13)||Group 14 (July 14)||Group 15 (July 4)||Group 16 (July 3)|
|David Gilbert||Ricky Walden|
|Yuan Sijun||David Lilley||Matthew Stevens||Ben Woollaston|
|Sean O’Sullivan||Peng Yisong|
|Ishpreet Singh||Liu Hongyu|
|Group 17 (July 5)||Group 18 (July 11)||Group 19 (July 10)||Group 20 (July 8)|
|Zhou Yuelong||Joe Perry||Noppon Saengkham|
|Jamie Clarke||James Cahill|
|Group 21 (June 27)||Group 22 (June 28)||Group 23 (July 7)||Group 24 (July 6)|
|Chris Wakelin||Pang Junxu|
|Robbie Williams||Sam Craigie|
|Group 25 (July 8)||Group 26 (July 5)||Group 27 (June 30)||Group 28 (July 4)|
|Si Jiahui||Jak Jones||Anthony Hamilton|
|Group 29 (June 29)||Group 30 (June 26)||Group 31 (July 13)||Group 32 (July 3)|
|Thepchaiya Un-Nooh||Cao Yupeng||Xiao Guodong|
|Daniel Wells||Ian Burns|
Featured photo credit: WST