Snooker stars hit form in Bulgaria

Mark Davis reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Open at the weekend
Mark Davis reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Open at the weekend

The area’s two snooker professionals reached the latter stages of the latest World Snooker tournament at the weekend.

St Leonards potter Mark Davis won four matches before losing to the eventual runner-up in the quarter-finals at European Tour event three, the Bulgarian Open, in Sofia.

World number 17 Davis began with a hat-trick of wins last Friday, the first two of which were narrow 4-3 victories. He firstly edged out 85th-ranked Englishman, Michael Georgiou, aided by breaks of 80, 82 and 58 before pipping 27th-ranked Welsh cueman Dominic Dale by the same margin.

Davis conceded just nine points in the first three frames of his next match against Elliot Slessor, knocking in runs of 66, 55 and 110 to boot. Although 87th-ranked Slessor replied with an 81 in the next, Davis clinched frame five with a top break of 47 to complete a 4-1 success.

The 42-year-old was again in fine form as he saw off in-form Scottish player Alan McManus by the same score in the last 16 on Sunday morning. Davis took the first two frames with runs of 71 and 65, and although McManus pulled one back, Davis completed the job helped by breaks of 80 and 48.

His progress was halted, however, by a 4-2 defeat against Martin Gould. Davis won the first two frames with top breaks of 55 and 79, but Gould reeled off the next four aided by runs of 60, 49, 88 and 52.

Bexhill-based Jimmy Robertson won three matches to reach the last 16, starting with a 4-2 success against 74th-ranked compatriot Alex Davies, in which runs of 84 and 89 helped him into a 3-1 lead.

World number 52 Robertson then saw off English amateur Mitchell Travis by the same score. Breaks of 67 and 69 gave Robertson the first two frames, and although Travis took two of the next three, a 79 in frame six got Robertson over the line.

The 28-year-old next pulled off a very good 4-0 win over 21st-ranked Michael Holt. Robertson edged two tight frames to go 2-0 up and Holt didn’t score a point in the next two as Robertson finished him off with runs of 50 and 79.

Robertson’s run ended with a 4-3 defeat to 28th-ranked Welsh player Michael White despite opening up a 2-0 and 3-1 lead. Robertson won the first two with a top break of 45 and then clinched the fourth thanks largely to a 63.

White closed to 3-2 courtesy of a 135 break in frame five and then levelled at 3-3 after edging the sixth on a respotted black. Robertson scored the first 28 points of the decider only for White to win it following an 81 in reply.