Murphy and Davis into Six Reds Final

Shaun Murphy and Mark Davis will contest the final of the Six Reds World Championship after respective 7-2 victories in their semi-finals in Thailand.

The Englishmen will compete for the top prize of £40,000 in tomorrow’s final and with it the status of being world champion.

This is actually nothing new to either player. Shaun Murphy was world champion of the more traditional 15-reds championship back in 2005 while Davis claimed the 2009 6-Reds world title in Killarney three years ago, proving his pedigree in the shorter, alternative format.

Indeed, that victory in Ireland propelled Davis into the mainstream after a decade as a journeyman and he has since established himself as one of the most consistent top players.

While he has still yet to break into the world’s top 16 in the rankings, he is an ever-present in the top 20 and it has only been a couple of results here and there that has prevented him joining the elite bracket for the first time.

Of course there are no ranking points on offer this week but neither will sniff at the opportunity of claiming a world trophy.

Both players came through difficult quarter-final encounters with Murphy coming from 6-5 down to edge Dominic Dale in a decider and Davis withstanding a stern fight back from home amateur Panompai Powises to eventually prevail 7-5.

The progression to the final was much smoother, though, as the duo enjoyed comfortable wins over higher ranked opponents.

39 year-old Davis saw off the challenge of former champion Ricky Walden with ease, a player looking for an Asian double following his success in Wuxi last week.

Murphy, meanwhile, would have been expecting a tougher encounter against world no.2 Judd Trump, who had earlier dispelled of Mark Selby in the last eight, but gratefully met an opponent whose performance was as flat as his new hairstyle.

One would expect Murphy to start as favourite tomorrow given his experience and pedigree on the big occasion.

Yet, Davis clearly has a love affair of his own with six reds snooker and I expect the final to be of a close nature.

Crowds were thankfully better for the penultimate day of the event as it reaches the business end of proceedings and I’m sure it’ll be a packed house for the conclusion on Saturday.

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