Davis prevails in deciding frame

Mark Davis has qualified for the venue stage of the Haikou World Open
Mark Davis has qualified for the venue stage of the Haikou World Open

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.