Davis battles through qualifier

Mark Davis has qualified for the International Championship
Mark Davis has qualified for the International Championship

Mark Davis booked his place in the venue stage of the International Championship snooker tournament after a hard-fought victory last night (Wednesday).

The St Leonards potter eventually saw off Lee Page 6-3 at the qualifiers in Barnsley and will face amateur Oliver Brown at the event proper, which will take place in China from October 27-November 3.

Davis would have been a hot favourite going into the match given that he had beaten Page 4-0 and 4-1 earlier in the season, and that he was coming off the back of a superb three-week period in the far east during which he recorded eight wins over players in the world’s top 10.

World number 14 Davis was never behind in a lengthy match which continued well into the night, but was pegged back from a frame ahead on three occasions before finally shaking off his 113th-ranked opponent.

Davis won the first, third (in which he recovered from 56 points behind) and fifth frames, hitting a break of 71 in the latter, but lost the second (by just eight points), fourth and sixth to leave the match finely poised at 3-3.

Six reds world champion and General Cup winner Davis, 41, edged a tight seventh frame on the pink and went on to wrap up victory by clinching the next two with a top break of 39.

Earlier in the day, Bexhill-based world number 48 Jimmy Robertson suffered a disappointing 6-4 loss against 94th-ranked Scottish cueman Michael Leslie despite winning three frames in a row from 5-1 down.

Davis and Robertson now head to Germany for European Tour event five this weekend with both men on course to earn places in the PTC Grand Finals next spring.