Snooker star Mark Davis was edged out by the defending champion in an epic four-hour tussle at the Dafabet Masters this afternoon (Sunday).
The St Leonards cueman produced a remarkable comeback from 4-0 and 5-2 down only to be pipped 6-5 by world number two Mark Selby in the opening match of the sport’s most prestigious invitation tournament.
Davis, ranked 14, didn’t get much of a look in as Selby won the first four frames at Alexandra Palace, London, playing some high quality snooker. The closest he got was in frame four when a very good break of 42 got Davis back into it after Selby’s opening 58 only for the Leicester potter to win it on the colours.
UK Championship runner-up Selby started to miss a few balls after the interval, though, and Davis played very well to get back into it. A run of 80 after a fine opening red to the yellow pocket gave Davis the fifth frame and he edged the sixth on the black having earlier made a 43 break to a Selby 54.
Selby moved 5-2 in front by winning the seventh, although Davis had a chance to overturn a 47-point deficit only to miss a fairly routine red near the side cushion. His response was fantastic, though, as he fashioned a magnificent 136 total clearance - the 158th century of his career - to make it 5-3.
Six-reds world champion Davis produced a great 49 clearance to pinch frame nine on the black and stay alive at 5-4. The 41-year-old didn’t concede a point in the next as fine runs of 62 and 61 set up a decider.
Frame 11 turned out to be easily the longest of the match with some solid safety play from both men. Davis had very few chances, though, and Selby always had his nose in front before eventually grinding his way over the line to win an absorbing contest.