Mark Davis was knocked out of the williamhill.com UK Snooker Championship in agonising fashion today (Sunday).
The world number 13 from St Leonards was pipped 6-5 by Scottish teenager Scott Donaldson in an epic second round match spanning well over five hours at the York Barbican.
Although only just inside the world’s top 80, the up-and-coming Donaldson has won a lot of matches this season and reached the last 16 of the Wuxi Classic in China so it was always likely to be a tricky game for Davis.
Donaldson won the opening frame despite a break of 46 from Davis and although a run of 56 put Davis 59 points ahead in the second, Donaldson came back to pinch it with a 66 clearance to go 2-0 up.
Davis got himself on the scoreboard by winning the third with a best effort of 37 and proceeded to reach the interval level at 2-2 by knocking in a 96 - the highest break of the match - in frame four.
Two-time reigning six reds world champion Davis began the next with a 40 only for Donaldson to clinch it with the aid of a 45. A 69 at the start of the sixth helped Davis restore parity again at 3-3, but he didn’t score a point in the next as Donaldson went 4-3 ahead courtesy of a 56.
Davis eventually edged a marathon eighth frame to level at 4-4 and a 62 in the next put him ahead for the first time at 5-4. Frame 10 was another lengthy affair, but in the end it went to Donaldson following a closing run of 35.
Although Davis - who produced arguably the best performance of his career to reach the semi-finals of the same tournament last year - opened up a 30-point lead in the decider, it was Donaldson who prevailed thanks to runs of 30 and 31.
Davis has now suffered deciding frame defeats in the early stages of the last three ranking events. He had no such trouble in round one on Friday, though, beating 119th-ranked Finnish cueman Robin Hull 6-2 with breaks of 80, 81, 75, 68 and 50.