World Championship qualifying: Steve Davis wins on final black

Steve Davis
Davis has not qualified for the World Championship main draw since 2010

Six-time world champion Steve Davis kept his bid to reach this year's main draw on track - but only just, as he beat Jamie Cope 10-9 on the last black.

The 57-year-old has failed to qualify for the past four years and must win twice more to reach the competition proper at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.

He led 4-0 and 9-7 and a break of 52 gave him the edge in the decider, but Stoke's Cope pushed him all the way.

Kurt Maflin or David Grace await Davis in the second qualifying round.

This year sees the 30th anniversary of the black-ball deciding frame that Davis lost to Northern Irishman Dennis Taylor in the 1985 world final, watched by a television audience of 18.5 million after midnight on BBC Two.

At the Ponds Forge venue in Sheffield, it was Davis's turn to profit from some last-frame nerves, as his 29-year-old opponent missed the pink and Davis potted it from long range before clipping in the black from a testing angle, using the rest.

In other games, China's number two Liang Wenbo came through 10-4 against England Chris Norbury, while there were also wins for Northern Ireland's Joe Swail and Welshman Dominic Dale.