Snooker: Heat on Higgins as past master Davis turns it on

WORLD champion John Higgins is looking to find a way back into his second-round Crucible clash after snooker's senior citizen, Steve Davis, sprinted into a 6-2 lead.

The Scot endured a miserable evening session as Davis produced a stunning performance on the World Championship stage.

They were due back at the table this afternoon, with the match scheduled to conclude tomorrow morning – providing 52-year-old Davis does not win seven of today's eight frames.

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That might be roughly Higgins' own target, as he looks to assert himself in the match.

In match order, Davis made breaks of 53, 48, 72, 102 and a closing 53, while Higgins had 60 and 52 to show for his evening – but the latter was not enough to win him the sixth frame. Until his 102, Davis had not made a century in competition this season, and his last at the Crucible came in his first-round defeat to John Parrott three years ago.

Another Davis – Hastings' Mark Davis – trails Northern Ireland's Mark Allen 5-3 in the only other second-round match to have started. Allen became the first player to ever make a 146 break at the Crucible with his sixth-frame effort.

That match concludes over morning and evening sessions today.

Shaun Murphy lost five frames in a row from 9-2 up before securing a 10-7 first-round win against Gerard Greene.

The 2005 champion will face Ding Junhui next and makes the Chinese player favourite for that match.

Murphy said: "He's been the best player this season and he's featured highly in all the major events and I think he'll be going into our match as favourite, but I've beaten favourites before."

World No.2 Stephen Maguire, of Paisley, converted his 6-3 overnight lead into a 10-4 first-round victory over Stephen Lee, to set up a last-16 match against fellow Scot Graeme Dott.

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That match was due to get under way later today and could be a close battle over the three sessions.

Maguire has a decent Crucible record, reaching a semi-final in 2007 and quarter-finals in each of the past two years. He believes he can do better, though, saying: "I think I've under-achieved in my career so far. But I'm trying different things to try to win more tournaments."

Dott landed the world title in 2006, while Higgins and Stephen Hendry have triumphed ten times in total between them.

Maguire would love to join his fellow Scots as a champion in Sheffield but said: "I don't get envious, they win it on their own merit. 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."

Australian Neil Robertson and England's Martin Gould were also set to go head to head in the opening two sessions of their second-round tussle today.