Mark Davis has been knocked out the Dafabet World Snooker Championship at the first hurdle.
The St Leonards-based world number 12 was beaten 10-5 by 24th-ranked Welsh potter Dominic Dale at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Dale will face Crucible debutant Michael Wasley in the last 16.
Trailing 7-2 after the first session last night (Wednesday), Davis had it all to do in the second session this afternoon. And a very difficult task became virtually impossible as Dale edged the opening two frames on the black to move within one of victory.
Davis didn’t give up without a fight, though, and reeled off the next three frames with breaks of 69, 61 and 42. But any hopes of a miraculous comeback were dashed when Welsh qualifier Dale sealed his win in frame 15 with the aid of a 57.
It was Davis’s ninth appearance on the sport’s biggest stage and first as one of the 16 seeded players, although the likeable 41-year-old has still to reach the quarter-finals.
The result marks the end of his 2013/14 season, during which he retained the Six-Reds World Championship in Thailand and won the General Cup in Hong Kong. Davis’s best performances in the ranking events were reaching the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters and German Masters.