STUART BINGHAM held his nerve to keep a stirring Steve Davis fightback at bay and seal a 10-8 first-round win at snooker’s 888.com World Championships.
Davis, a six-time winner at Sheffield, had trailed 8-3 at one stage, but a remarkable upturn in form saw him recover to level at 8-8.
But Bingham halted Davis’s momentum, stealing a tense 17th frame on the black after his opponent had left the final ball in the jaws of the pocket.
And Bingham made a brave 59 break in the last to clinch the victory, leaving Davis, 50 to reflect: It’s a bit annoying, I felt as if I let it slip.”
Seven-time champion Stephen Hendry bounced back from a 6-3 deficit to beat qualifier Mark Allen 10-9.
Hendry took the first three frames of the final session to level at 6-6 before his 22-year-old opponent took the 13th and 14th, with an 89 break.
The 39-year-old veteran made it 8-7 with a 65 before Allen put himself within one frame of victory with a 55.
But Hendry took the next two before scoring 72 in the final-frame decider.