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  Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:38 GMT
Davis reels in Hunter
Scotland's Chris Small
Small produced a 137 clearance against O'Sullivan
P Hunter (Eng) 4-5 S Davis (Eng)
R O'Sullivan (Eng) 1-5 C Small (Sco)
G Greene (NI) 4-5 J Michie (Eng)
A McManus (Sco) 5-3 D Gray (Eng)


Steve Davis rolled back the years to reach the semi-final of the LG Cup with a 5-4 victory over Paul Hunter.

Davis battled back from 4-2 down as he continued his impressive run of form at Preston's Guild Hall.

The 45-year-old has not won a world ranking title for seven years.

It was a nasty end to the match - the miss rule has reared its ugly head again

Steve Davis

But he followed up his 5-1 victory over Mark Williams with a brilliant recovery after losing the first three frames to Hunter.

Davis bounced back to take the next two frames but was staring defeat in the face after Hunter took the sixth 69-29.

But he held his nerve to peg Hunter back at 4-4 and took the 47-minute decider 85-40 after gaining 21 points in fouls as Hunter failed to escape a snooker.

"It was a nasty end to the match. The miss rule has reared its ugly head again," said Davis.

"I really don't think from one easy shot the rules are such that you get so many points. It's just unfair, though we all play to the same rules and we all know the consequences."

Davis will now play Scotland's Alan McManus, who beat Londoner David Gray 5-3 in their quarter-final.

Earlier world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan had been sent crashing out by Scotland's Chris Small.

Small, who beat John Higgins in the last round, booked his semi-final place with a 5-1 victory which included a stunning 137 clearance in the fourth frame.

"To knock out John and Ronnie on successive days and to blow them both away is unbelievable," said Small.

When I play like that it makes me wonder why I bother - I'm better off going to get a proper job

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"But I've always known I was capable of playing like that and beating these guys.

"I just wish I knew the answer why I haven't always done it."

O'Sullivan said: "When I play like that it makes me wonder why I bother. I'm better off going to get a proper job.

"Chris can win the title. Joe Johnson and Dennis Taylor won the world championship, so why not?"

Small's victory sets up a meeting with qualifier Jimmy Michie in the semi-finals.

Pontefract-based Michie caused a shock of his own, coming from 4-1 down to clinch a superb win over Northern Ireland international Gerard Greene.

The 31-year-old revealed his win comes not long after he was considering quitting snooker.

Michie said: "I thought I was dead and buried at 4-1 so I knew I had to knuckle down.

"What do I put my good run down to? Probably practising for a change."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Phil Yates
"Davis gets better and better"
Steve Davis
"I was happy to get back in the game"
Chris Small 5-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Closing frame action
Jimmy Michie 5-4 Gerard Greene
Closing frame action

Action from Preston

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


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