Davis triumphs after stunning O’Sullivan

St Leonards snooker star Mark Davis beat Ronnie O'Sullivan to win Championship League group five
St Leonards snooker star Mark Davis beat Ronnie O'Sullivan to win Championship League group five

Snooker star Mark Davis defeated the great Ronnie O’Sullivan to win a group stage in an invitational tournament.

The St Leonards potter came from 2-0 down to defeat five-time world champion O’Sullivan 3-2 in the final of Championship League Snooker group five last night (Tuesday).

O’Sullivan took the first two frames at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex with breaks of 54 and 61, but scored just eight points in the subsequent three frames as Davis pulled off a stunning tournaround with runs of 62, 47 and 55.

Davis was in fine form throughout the two-day event involving seven of the sport’s leading players. He finished second to O’Sullivan in the initial round-robin stage after winning five of his six matches.

The world number 19 won all of his three matches on Monday by 3-1 scorelines, beating Peter Ebdon with top breaks of 99 and 47, Fergal O’Brien with runs of 49, 47 and 128, and Michael White aided by efforts of 50 and 54.

Davis began the second day with a 3-0 success against Liang Wenbo featuring breaks of 84 and 73 before losing 3-1 to O’Sullivan, who won the first two frames on the black having needed a snooker in both. Davis fashioned runs of 45, 68, 57 and 69 in a losing cause.

The 42-year-old finished the round-robin stage with a 3-2 victory over David Gilbert, which included breaks of 55, 59 and a match-winning 89. The same two players then met again in the semi-finals and Davis this time prevailed 3-1 helped by runs of 81 and 74.

Davis’s comeback win over world number three O’Sullivan - who broke Stephen Hendry’s record for the most career century breaks at the recent Dafabet Masters - in the final meant he went one better than his runner-up finishes in groups three and four last week.

The champions of each of the seven initial groups qualify for the Winners’ Group on February 11 and 12, and whoever triumphs in that will earn a spot in the prestigious Champion of Champions competition next season.

The other group winners so far have been Barry Hawkins, Matthew Selt, Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham. Davis will lock horns with O’Sullivan once again in round one of the German Masters on Thursday February 5.