Davis set to make Masters bid

Mark Davis will take on Mark Allen at The Masters tonight
Mark Davis will take on Mark Allen at The Masters tonight

Mark Davis is poised to make his first appearance in the prestigious Masters snooker tournament for a decade.

The St Leonards potter, enjoying the best season of his career, will take on Mark Allen in round one of an invitation event for 16 of the world’s top players at Alexandra Palace, London, today (Sunday) from 7pm.

Although world number 16 Davis beat ninth-ranked Allen in the one frame Snooker Shoot-Out last season, he lost to the Northern Irishman three times in the Championship League and in the 2010 World Championship.

The one previous occasion Davis played in The Masters was back in 2003 when he was narrowly beaten by Alan McManus at Wembley having qualified by winning the old Benson & Hedges Championship.

Davis warmed-up for the event by taking part in the Championship League at Crondon Park Golf Club, Essex, last week. He reached the semi-finals of group one on Monday and Tuesday, and came sixth in group two on Wednesday and Thursday.

The 40-year-old began group two with four successive defeats against Ali Carter, Martin Gould, Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire before recording 3-1 wins in his last two matches against Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson.

That meant Davis finished off the bottom of the seven-man group on frames won and therefore remains in the competition. He will join Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Trump, Gould, Robertson and Maguire in group three on January 21-22.

Davis has reached the semi-finals of three full ranking events this season, plus the Bulgarian Open, as well as winning the Six Reds World Championship in Thailand.