Welsh Open bids end for Sussex snooker pair

A frustrated Mark Davis bemoaned the routine errors which cost him what would have been an eye-catching victory over Ryan Day at the Welsh Open, writes Paul Martin.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 8:18 am
Mark Davis

The world No.49 won the first two frames against the Snooker Shootout champion and despite being pegged back, a break of 82 left Davis on the verge of a first third-round appearance of the season.

But a big early miss in the decider left the table free for Day to rack up a half-century of his own and extend his stay in Newport at the St Leonards star’s expense.

“In the last frame, you couldn’t have set the balls any better and I managed to score one,” he said. “I just make so many mistakes these days. I don’t like to use the word careless - I’m trying, but I just have so many lapses.

Jimmy Robertson

“Maybe it’s my age catching up with me. You can only get away with so much and that’s why I’m down in the rankings. “I’m making too many elementary errors and you can’t do that against anyone on tour these days.”

Davis’ time at Celtic Manor at least saw the 48-year-old end his run of four straight first-round defeats and March’s Gibraltar Open is his next chance to earn valuable ranking points. Then come World Championship qualifiers, with the Sussex potter looking to qualify for just his second appearance at the Crucible since 2015.

“I’ve still got three tournaments left so I need to string some scores together,” he said. “Your safety can be as good as you like but if you can’t score, you’re not going to win many matches. It used to be a strong point but it’s just gone – I’m missing too many stupid balls. I’ll go back to practice and get ready for the next one.”

Bexhill-on-Sea’s Jimmy Robertson also fell at the second-round stage in Newport, missing out on a tie with Ronnie O’Sullivan in the process. The Rocket lay in wait for the winner of Robertson’s clash with Martin Gould, who was in control from the moment he got under way with a 128 break.

Gould edging a tight second frame proved decisive and he went on to complete the whitewash, leaving Robertson to reflect on another early exit. The world No.56’s run to the third round at October’s English Open remains his season’s best and, like Davis, he will try again at the Gibraltar Open.

Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app and stream on discovery+