KEIGHLEY potter Chris Melling was at his majestic best last night in the Ultimate Pool Champions League, but he was pushed all the way by talented youngster Luke Gilbert.

Both Melling and Gilbert finished Group One on five points, after two wins and a draw apiece, meaning a six-red shootout was needed to determine who went through to the last-16.

And the veteran held his nerve, demolishing Gilbert's 28.60 second target with ease to advance.

Melling kicked off the night with a 3-2 win over Cleve Thompson, with Gilbert achieving the same result against Gary Clarke.

The two top dogs then drew 3-3 as Gilbert, a former World Under-23 champion, more than held his own against former Champions League winner Melling.

Melling stayed unbeaten when he thumped Clarke 4-1, with the final frame seeing him not only seeing him produce a break clearance, but also a near-impossible shot to pot his final red.

Gilbert then had to beat Thompson to force a shootout, and he kept his cool to record a 3-2 win.

The shootout saw Gilbert go first, as he posted that 28.60 second marker.

Melling has experience in that six-red tiebreaker though, and he chased down his target comfortably, sinking his balls in just 21.20 seconds to go through.

That was the first of 21 weeks of Champions League action, taking in 16 groups as well as the knockout stages, so Melling has a long wait before the last-16 later this year.