UK Snooker Championship: York loss lamented by Paul Davison

York Press: Paul Davison at the Barbican Paul Davison at the Barbican

PAUL DAVISON believes York has become “the home of the UK Championship” and has expressed disappointment at rumours the tournament could move from the Minster city.

The Pickering potter made his Barbican bow in this year’s event – beating Gerard Greene 6-4 before falling 6-3 in the second round to Shaun Murphy.

Having been a regular spectator at the UK down the years, Davison was delighted to swap a seat in the balcony for one in the main arena and was keen to try to repeat the feat in 12 months’ time.

But it seems unlikely the tournament will remain at its current home with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn believing it is too small to accommodate all 128 players who arrive under the new competition format.

Several of the game’s top 16 stars, including Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire, bemoaned the conditions in the early rounds and, with the Barbican’s deal to run the event expiring at the conclusion of this year’s tournament, Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has emerged as a strong favourite to take over.

“It would be a bit disappointing if they moved the UK from here,” said Davison. “It’s a fantastic venue and, although it is not ideal having 128 players here, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have a qualifying match like they do for other events.

“If the UK isn’t going to be here there has to be something. It’s a big arena. It’s big tiered seating and there aren’t too many venues like this.”

Reflecting on his Barbican experience, Davison – back in action next week in German Masters and World Open qualifiers – said: “I enjoyed every minute of it – the first and second matches. It was great just to play there and it was even better to win a match and get so close to winning two.

“I see the Barbican as the home of the UK. It would be a shame to lose it.”

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