Davis stars in Portugal

St Leonards snooker star Mark Davis reached the semi-finals of the Lisbon Open in Portugal this weekend
St Leonards snooker star Mark Davis reached the semi-finals of the Lisbon Open in Portugal this weekend

Mark Davis continued his fine finish to 2014 by reaching the latter stages of the latest World Snooker tournament in Portugal.

The St Leonards cueman followed up his run to the quarter-finals of the Coral UK Championship by reaching the semi-finals of the Lisbon Open this weekend.

Davis won three matches on Saturday and two more yesterday (Sunday) before bowing out to eventual champion Stephen Maguire at an event also known as European Tour event five.

The world number 19 began with a 4-0 whitewash of Chinese player Lyu Haotian thanks largely to breaks of 76, 63 and 75 before seeing off Welsh amateur Gareth Allen 4-1 with a top break of 39. Davis edged two tight frames to take a 2-0 lead and despite not scoring a point in the third, he clinched the next two to seal victory.

Davis then scraped past 35th-ranked Mark King 4-3 on the television table. After being unfortunate to lose a scrappy opening frame, Davis took the next two with runs of 71 and 60. He then pinched frame four on the black after King had missed an easy brown, which would have left Davis needing snookers.

King put that behind him to clinch the next two with breaks of 86 and 60, and began the decider with a 40 only for Davis to claim it thanks largely to a very good 61.

Davis returned the following morning to overcome 83rd-ranked 20-year-old Joel Walker 4-1 in the last 16. Davis got off to a blistering start with breaks of 84, 96 and 66 giving him a 3-0 lead for the loss of just 18 points. He lost the fourth, but edged the fifth to get over the line.

That set up a quarter-final against surprise package Craig Steadman, the world number 85 who had knocked out the likes of Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham.

Davis lost the first frame after his opening break of 50 was overhauled by a Steadman 80, but won the next with a 104 and edged the third on the pink. Although Steadman levelled at 2-2, Davis clinched frame five with a run of 52 and was 37 points ahead in the next before Steadman rallied for 3-3. A run of 50 put Davis in charge of the decider, however, and he eventually won it on the colours.

That was as good as it got, though, because Davis was beaten 4-0 by world number 12 Maguire in the semi-finals, scoring just 18 points in the match as his on form Scottish opponent knocked in breaks of 52, 81 and four others over 40.

Bexhill-based world number 46 Jimmy Robertson was also in action in Portugal. He beat Michael Leslie 4-0 in round one before losing 4-1 against former world champion John Higgins, who knocked in breaks of 117, 131 and 76.