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Steve Davis leads champion John Higgins at Crucible

  Steve Davis at CRucible

Six-time winner Steve Davis will take a 6-2 lead into the second session of his second-round match against defending champion John Higgins at the Crucible.

Fearless Davis was tactically superior against an off-colour Higgins who played countless poor shots and whose highest break was only 60.

After sharing the first four frames, Davis won all four after the interval, making a 102 break in the process.

The best-of-25-frame match resumes at 1430 BST on Friday.

Davis, at the age of 52, became the oldest player since Eddie Charlton to win a match at the Crucible when he beat Mark King in the first round and has given himself a great chance to surprise the snooker world again.

The 'Nugget' began the night with a 53 break and followed it up with further breaks of 72 and 102, his first century of the season.

In the final frame of the night, Davis made another 53 before the game became safety-heavy. Higgins then went in-off before Davis fired in a long yellow to effectively seal the eighth.

Meanwhile, world number two Stephen Maguire recorded a 10-4 victory over Stephen Lee to set up a second-round clash against fellow Scot Graeme Dott.

Maguire, who held a 6-3 lead going into the final session, made a 114 break in the second frame of the evening en route to seeing off his opponent.

Maguire reached the semi-finals in 2007 and quarter-finals in each of the past two years, but he is looking to join his fellow Scots as a winner in Sheffield, with Dott, Higgins and Stephen Hendry all having won the title 10 times between them.

"I don't get envious, they win it on their own merit," he said. "Envy isn't the word. I try every year to win this tournament.

"It's only the second round, I'm not even thinking about the trophy yet."

Earlier, Shaun Murphy survived a major scare before defeating Gerard Greene 10-7 to reach the second round.

Murphy, the 2005 winner, needed just two more frames from the second session having built up an 8-1 overnight lead.

But Greene battled back winning six out of seven frames before Murphy finally got over the finish line with an 87.

Mark Allen became the first player to make a 146 break at the Crucible in his second-round match against Mark Davis.

In all the years the venue has staged snooker, it has witnessed nine maximum 147 breaks but never a 146.

Northern Ireland's Allen, a semi-finalist in 2009, managed the feat in the sixth frame.

He was set for a maximum after taking blacks with the first six reds he potted before he lost position and opted for a pink.

Allen's achievement puts him in pole position for the tournament high break prize of 10,000.

However, 157,000 is the prize on offer for anyone who makes a 147 at this year's championship.

Antrim's Allen leads England's Davis 4-2 in their best of 25-frame clash, while Murphy set up a second-round match against China's Ding Junhui.

The 2005 champion said he was confident he would progress despite Greene's fight back.

"At no time in the match did I feel like I was going to lose - the gremlins weren't that bad," Murphy told BBC 5 live.

"It would have been nice to win the match 10-1 and quietly and professionally gone about my business but Gerard didn't let me do that."

Murphy added he was looking forward to facing in-form Ding.

"Ding is the best snooker player in the world at the moment - his record proves that and he is having a great season," he said.

"He will go into the match as favourite but I have defeated favourites before."

23rd April 2010, 13:21
 
Page updated 23rd Apr 2010, 13:21
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