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Last Updated: Monday, 21 April, 2003, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
Lee ends Davis dream
By Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at the Crucible

Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee won four frames in a row to clinch the match

Stephen Lee held off a brave challenge from six-time champion Steve Davis to seal a 10-6 first-round win.

The seventh seed began the session 5-4 behind but took the first two frames to edge ahead before Davis snatched a 49-minute 12th frame to level.

But Lee held his nerve to take the next three and an 81 break in the 15th frame moved him to the brink of victory.

And after a 30-minute tactical battle in the final frame, Lee wrapped up the game after Davis missed the brown.

Davis put on a brave face after his defeat following his first appearance at The Crucible since 2000.

"Stephen deserved to win it - he was cueing beautifully and produced his best form when it mattered," said the six-times champion.

I'm going to have to start scoring more heavily when I get amongst the balls
Stephen Lee

"I'd have liked to played better. I played OK and nothing more than that but it was still such a thrill to play in front of The Crucible crowd.

"Four or five frames could have gone either way and I just didn't win enough of them to challenge."

Lee admitted he would have to make big improvements after an inconsistent display.

"I'm going to have to start scoring more heavily when I get amongst the balls," said the seventh seed.

"It was nice to get over the winning line because it's always difficult to play against Steve.

"I felt that I got the better of the safety exchanges but Steve played very well in patches."

First round result: S Lee (Eng) 10-6 S Davis (Eng)
56-53 (Davis 53), 90-0 (59), 5-64 (59), 20-56, 19-69, 67-60, 77-6 (68), 27-63, 16-60, 74-0 (61), 73-49, 53-56, 71-40, 93-0, 128-4 (81), 68-40.

Stephen Lee
"I've got to not put myself under pressure"

Steve Davis
"He upped the pace and deserved to win"

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