Mark Davis avoided losing a hat-trick of Championship League finals when he came from 2-0 down to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-2 to win Group 5 on Tuesday.
The Englishman had already been defeated twice by 3-1 scorelines in the finals of both of the last two groups, to Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham respectively, but finally booked his place in the Winners’ Group next month.
O’Sullivan dominated the group stage with five wins from six matches to finish top, although Davis matched his tally of victories and was only pushed into second place on frame difference.
The ‘Rocket’ edged Fergal O’Brien in a tight semi-final encounter 3-2 having earlier whitewashed the Irishman in a 22-minute round-robin rout that included breaks of 128, 97 and 101.
Davis overcame David Gilbert to reach his third final on the trot and it looked as though he was going to suffer a similar fate to the last two contests only to launch a spirited fight back from two down with three to play.
The 42 year-old joins Carter, Bingham, Barry Hawkins and Matthew Selt in what is increasingly looking like an extremely open Winners’ Group.
O’Brien, Gilbert and Ebdon, who finished fifth in the group, have another bite at the cherry today and tomorrow in the penultimate group and will be joined by Kurt Maflin, Rod Lawler, Dominic Dale and Ben Woollaston.
O’Sullivan chose not to extend his trip in Crondon Park and has pulled out while Liang Wenbo and Michael White were eliminated after finishing bottom of Group 5.