Mark Davis came from two frames down to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-2 and win through to the Championship League Winners’ Group at the third attempt, having lost two previous Group Finals at Crondon Park in Essex.
The Hastings man entered the competition in Group Three and had reached each Group Final since, but had previously succumbed to Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham.
He looked likely to suffer the same fate at the climax of Group Five on Tuesday evening, falling 2-0 down to five-time World Champion O’Sullivan. However, Davis turned it around to finally claim his place in February’s big-money Winners’ Group.
“I’m glad to get through to the final group,” said Davis. “I didn’t play too well in my previous two finals but I felt in this group I have played a lot better.
“At 2-0 down I did think I would be back for Group Six and it is obviously hard work to overturn that, but you take each frame as it comes and when I got a chance I took it.
“It is a great tournament and I enjoy playing here. I wouldn’t have minded too much if I had to come back as there are two more chances yet but I am delighted to get through to the Winners’ Group.”
Davis had finished second in the table after the round-robin group phase and saw off David Gilbert 3-1 in his semi-final, while O’Sullivan – who had topped the table – beat Fergal O’Brien 3-2 despite seeing the Irishman level up from 2-0 down.
O’Sullivan, Gilbert and O’Brien will be joined by Peter Ebdon in Group Six, where Kurt Maflin, Dominic Dale and Rod Lawler will enter the competition.
The Championship League Snooker event is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with all matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.
Each group features seven players with each man playing the other six once in a round-robin basis. Every match is the best of five and the winner gains one point with the loser getting zero.
At the end of the league phase the top four advances to that group’s semi-finals where the two winners meet in the final and the winner advances to the Winners’ Group in February.
The losing finalist, two losing semi-finalists and player finishing fifth move into the next group where they are joined by three new players and the process is repeated.
The winner then goes through to the final group on February 11th and 12th where the big money is up for grabs. The two bottom players are eliminated from the competition, while the remaining four move forward to Group Six which commences on Wednesday 28th January.
Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com