10:48am Thursday 11th April 2013
By Steve Carroll
PHILOSOPHICAL Paul Davison is already looking ahead to the next snooker season after his Betfair World Championship dreams were ended for another year.
The Pickering potter fell 10-7 to Alfie Burden in the second qualifying round at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in a match which, for large spells, could have gone either way.
Davison got off to a cracking start, leading 4-0 at one stage, but Burden pegged him back to 5-4 at the end of the first session and he continued his assault on the resumption – winning four in a row to take an 8-5 advantage.
The world number 75 dug deep, however, reduced the arrears to 8-7 and could even have levelled the match in the next.
But in a second session where the run of the balls largely did not go Davison’s way – he suffered several in-offs – the match was decided in similar fashion when, after laying a superb snooker behind the green, Burden’s hit and hope saw him fluke a red and allowed him to compile a match-winning break.
“It was tough. I kept myself together pretty well,” he said. “But not a lot went for me. I enjoyed the match, it was good to be involved in but it would have been nice to win.
“It was 5-4 at the interval and it should have been 7-2 but I was in front so I wasn’t too disappointed. He got off to a good start and put me on the back foot.
“But I got a second wind, got back to 8-7 and really should have gone 8-8. In the last frame, I tucked him up behind the green and had him in all sorts of trouble. He had a lash at it and it paid off for him.”
Davison added: “It was frustrating to be honest. Very frustrating, but that’s sport. I won my first match, have had a reasonably good season and that sets me up for next season.”
The new campaign gets under way just a couple of weeks after the World Championship concludes at the Crucible, with Quickslide- sponsored Davison back in action at the Wuxi Classic Qualifiers in Gloucester on May 27.
Part of a year that will see him play at the Barbican for the first time in the UK Championship at York in November, the 41-year-old is keen to get onto the practice table.
“I have given myself half a chance to get into the top 64 next season,” he said. “The new structure (of flat knockouts involving all 128 players) means the bar will need to be raised a little bit but everyone is looking forward to it.
“Everyone has been taking about it in the last couple of days. It is great to be able to play the sport that I love.”
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