Impressive Davis reaches Shoot Out semi-finals

Mark Davis reached the semi-finals of the Coral Snooker Shoot Out in Watford.
Mark Davis reached the semi-finals of the Coral Snooker Shoot Out in Watford.

Mark Davis enjoyed a superb run to the semi-finals of the Coral Snooker Shoot Out, compiling the second highest break of the tournament to boot.

The St Leonards-based cueman won five matches at the Watford Colosseum, four of them against players in the top 21 of the world rankings.

Davis knocked in a splendid run of 102 to whitewash world number 16 and defending champion Anthony McGill 103-0 in the very first match of the event last Thursday afternoon.

That remained the top break of the competition until eventual champion Michael Georgiou fashioned a superb 109 clearance in his quarter-final victory over Zhang Yong.

Matches in the Shoot Out are played over a single 10-minute frame with a shot clock, so big breaks are far less common than in the traditional form of the game. The highest break in last year’s tournament was a 96 by Graeme Dott

World number 41 Davis, who reached the last 16 of the German Masters last week, had to wait until the penultimate match of round two on Saturday night before returning to the table.

He produced an assured display to see off Egyptian potter Basem Eltahhan 69-10 in an entertaining encounter which was enjoyed by the lively crowd.

Davis contested the very first third round match yesterday (Sunday) lunchtime and produced another impressive performance to overcome 12th-ranked Ali Carter 71-1.

He was handed another tough draw in the last 16 yesterday evening, against 11th-ranked former world champion Stuart Bingham, but again Davis was a convincing winner, this time 45-6.

Having had just 17 points scored against him in his first four matches, Davis finally came under pressure during a thrilling quarter-final against 21st-ranked Joe Perry.

Perry opened up a 35-point lead, but Davis came back to lead 36-35. Perry potted a long red to level at 36-36 and missed the brown with a hurried attempt in the final couple of seconds.

With the scores level, the match was decided by a sudden death blue ball shoot-out. Perry had won one of these in the previous round, but this time missed his attempt at the pot and Davis was successful with his, so Davis went through to a semi-final against Dott.

Davis scored the opening eight points, but 25th-ranked Dott, runner-up in the German Masters, then came out on top in a good quality safety exchange and produced a fine 59 break to prevail.

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