Davis on top against Higgins

Mark Davis leads John Higgins 6-3 after the first session at the Betfair World Snooker Championship. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh17009f)
Mark Davis leads John Higgins 6-3 after the first session at the Betfair World Snooker Championship. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh17009f)
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Mark Davis holds a 6-3 lead over four-times champion John Higgins at the Betfair World Snooker Championship.

The St Leonards potter won six of the last seven frames during the opening session of the first round match this afternoon (Sunday) and needs four more in the second session tomorrow afternoon to seal possibly the biggest win of his career.

World number seven Higgins rattled through the opening frame at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield 84-0 thanks to a break of 61 and then took the second 90-27 before 16th-ranked Davis reeled off three in a row with half-century breaks in each.

He won the third 86-43 with the help of a 68 and got back on level terms at the mid-session interval by claiming the fourth 85-29 with all his points coming in a single visit. A 69 gave Davis the lead for the first time as he bagged the fifth 79-32.

Higgins made it 3-3 by pocketing the sixth 67-12 with the aid of a 51 only for Davis to again win three on the spin. The 40-year-old won the seventh 81-33, the eighth 96-40 with all his points coming in one visit and the ninth 93-30 aided by a 64.

Davis, who was forced to qualify after defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan opted to return to the sport following a self-imposed exile, is making his eighth appearance at The Crucible and is bidding for his third victory.

He is enjoying the best season of his career having reached three full ranking event semi-finals, including the UK Championship where he beat Higgins, and winning the Six Reds World Championship.