Mark Davis came came agonisingly close to beating the world number six snooker player on Saturday.
The St Leonards talent, ranked 17, was pipped 6-5 by Ding Junhui in round one of the williamhill.com UK Championship after the Chinese player fluked the final pink in the decider.
Davis got off to a dream start at the Barbican Centre in York, hitting a 78 break to win the opening frame without conceding a point before cruising through the second with the aid of a 61.
He then went 42-0 up in the third only to lose that and the next two. But Davis recovered to win the sixth on the black, and went on to win the seventh and ninth to lead 5-4.
Davis had a chance to clear up for victory in frame 10, but Ding produced an excellent black into a baulk corner to force the decider and looked to be cruising home in frame 11 until missing a simple black on 61.
Former Six Reds World Champion Davis replied with 49 only to miss the last blue. A safety battle on the pink followed, which was resolved when Ding escaped from a snooker and saw the pink fly into a corner pocket.
The full article will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.