Snooker star Mark Davis ended 2013 on a high note with a narrow victory in the Haikou World Open Qualifiers.
The St Leonards-based world number 14 edged out Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 5-4 at the Barnsley Metrodome yesterday (Saturday) to set up a tie against amateur Adam Wicheard at the venue stage in March.
Davis conceded only one point in winning the first frame, but lost the second on a respotted black. A 51 gave Davis the third only for his 79th-ranked opponent to level at 2-2 with the aid of a 48 in the fourth.
The losing player in each of the final five frames failed to score a point as the break-building hotted up. Davis looked to have taken command as runs of 64 and 51 gave him a 4-2 lead, yet Tirapongpaiboon replied with breaks of 69 and 79 for 4-4.
Davis hadn’t won any of his five most recent matches that had gone to a deciding frame, but a run of 79 put that record straight and made it two wins in four days following his 5-0 victory over Barry Pinches in the German Masters Qualifiers on Wednesday.
Bexhill-based Jimmy Robertson, however, was pipped 5-4 by Alex Davies on Friday. World number 99 Davies went 2-0 up with a top break of 45 and although Robertson rattled through the third thanks to a run of 88, Davies came from 56 points behind to nab the fourth on the black for a 3-1 lead.
Robertson, ranked 52, won the next two aided by a 56 in the latter to level at 3-3. Davies edged the seventh to move in front once more, but Robertson came through a lengthy eighth frame for 4-4. Davies prevailed in the decider, though, thanks largely to a 45.