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UK Snooker: Paul Davison bows out after ‘fantastic’ Barbican adventure
PAUL DAVISON hailed an incredible Barbican experience as he bowed out of the williamhill.com UK Snooker Championship in York.
The Pickering potter was on course for a major shock as he led world number seven Shaun Murphy 3-0 in their last 64 clash in the main arena.
But the Magician dominated after the interval and gave Davison very few chances to spring a surprise in the game’s second biggest tournament.
“The experience was fantastic. I have loved every second of it,” said Davison.
“I am disappointed to lose but he played really well and credit has to go to him. After the interval, his safety was much better and, when he got in, he just didn’t miss.
“I dominated the first four frames and I had half a sniff to be 4-0 up. I was happy to be 3-1 up but, the next four frames and after that, that’s as good matchplay snooker as you will see.”
The North Yorkshire cueman got off to a perfect start – grinding out the first frame and then striking a sumptuous 88 break, with exceptional close control, to double his advantage.
When he went 3-0 up, following a brilliant shot to pot a red and move the brown off the left cushion into a pottable position, Murphy admitted later to being extremely concerned.
But a missed pink with the rest gave the former world champion a glimpse in the next and it was all he needed.
Crucially taking that frame before the mid-session interval, Murphy then quickly added the first after the restart with 78.
While Davison had been able to restrict the Magician previously, now he was rampant – taking the lead for the first time with a break of 80 and clinching it thanks to a contribution of 65.
After a difficult start, he had won six frames in a row.
Davison, though, was not dwelling on the negatives.
“I don’t think I did too much wrong,” he added. “I am disappointed that I’ve lost from 3-0 up but he’s won it more than I have lost it – by a long way – so it’s not like I have thrown it away.
“The arena was great. I was a bit more relaxed and I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere let down a bit when everyone was leaving after Ronnie O’Sullivan had finished. It went a little flat.
“I am taking the positives out of it. It drives you on to want more. There was nothing better than playing in the UK at the Barbican and it was definitely worth the wait.”
Murphy said that Davison had been a very difficult opponent: “It was always going to be a tough game,” he explained.
“Paul is a gritty player and got good local support. All my games this season seem to have been difficult.
“I was very concerned. I got to 3-0 and thought ‘here we go again. It’s another day of trying hard and getting nothing for it’.
“I got my first real chance of the match in the fourth frame and took it. That was a little positive step. I would have desperately loved to have carried on then but the interval got in the way.
“I was just relieved that I carried on in the vein I had before the interval – got a few chances – and put them away.”
He added: “With snooker, it’s hard to get going if your opponent doesn’t give you a chance. In the first three frames he was very tight and he didn’t give me any chances.
“You can’t score from behind the baulk line. At 3-0 down I had to keep believing.”
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