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  Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:38 GMT
Davis rides luck to sink White
Six-time world champion Steve Davis
Davis was rewarded for his bold play with a lucky pot
Steve Davis beat his long-standing rival Jimmy White at a packed Preston Guild Hall on Tuesday.

The six-time world champion stayed the course to record a 5-4 win.

It was no classic between the Nugget and the Whirlwind but the 1000-plus crowd did not seem to mind.

In the end the outcome swung on a fluke. Davis was in deep trouble against White in the deciding ninth frame.

But the 45-year-old Essex star fluked a red to start a match-clinching run of 21.

"That was a Davis special," said White. "I fancied clearing up if I had got a chance.

"But that's snooker. The crowd was brilliant, it was like going back in time. It was a great atmosphere."

To be honest I can't lose against Ronnie because I will enjoy watching him play, even if I'm losing

Michael Holt

Davis now plays Mark Williams for a place in the last eight.

"You won't see a better fluke all year," said Davis.

"I'm sure Jimmy's friends and family were not too pleased."

On the next table, Scotland's Chris Small defied a back problem to beat world number 13 Joe Perry 5-2.

Williams bounced back from his 6-0 hiding by Stephen Lee at the recent Regal Masters to sneak past Michael Judge 5-4.

Qualifier Michael Holt was also smiling as he removed Quinten Hann from the draw.

The Nottingham prospect beat the Australian 5-4 to set-up a showdown with Ronnie O'Sullivan.

"To be honest I can't lose against Ronnie because I will enjoy watching him play, even if I'm losing," said Holt.

Earlier on Tuesday, world champion Peter Ebdon was derailed at the first hurdle by Fergal O'Brien.

Ebdon went down 5-4 to the Irishman in a thrilling finish after leading 4-3.

I've played a lot worse than that and won matches before

Peter Ebdon

Both players compiled a brace of century breaks, including O'Brien's best effort of 128 in the second frame.

Ebdon responded with a break of 101 which O'Brien cancelled out with 100 in the next frame to lead 3-1.

World number three Ebdon then sparked a three-frame burst with a visit of 103.

But O'Brien, ranked 23 in the world, held his nerve to grab the last two frames and set up a meeting with qualifier Gerard Greene for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I've played a lot worse than that and won matches before," said Ebdon, who also lost his opening game to Stephen Hendry in last month's Regal Masters.

James Wattana almost repeated his first-round feat of battling back from a 4-0 deficit before losing to Paul Hunter 5-3.

The Benson and Hedges Masters winner next faces seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Clive Everton
"An engrossing battle"
Steve Davis
"I haven't enjoyed a match so much for years"
Steve Davis v Jimmy White
See the thrilling deciding frame

Action from Preston

Internet links
Links to more LG Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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