Tony Drago stormed into the semi-finals of the World Seniors Championship after a stunning 4-3 win over title favourite Mark Davis in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
The Tornado had eased into the last eight with a comfortable 3-0 win over Vito Puopolo. However, facing the tournament favourite the Maltese veteran needed to use all his grit and determination to overcome Davis in a best-of-seven frames thriller at the Crucible.
The match had more than one facet, as Drago for much of the first part of the match looked at his vintage best as he raced into a commanding three-frame lead.
Drago completed a run of 50 to take the opening frame before he prevailed in a scrappy second frame.
In the third frame, Drago compiled another solid break of 59 to go three frames up, and just one away from victory.
However, 2016 champion Davis conjured up a stirring comeback, starting off with a 137 total clearance – the tournament’s highest break this year, so far – to get on the board.
In a remarkable fifth frame which saw Drago make a break of 63 and go within touching distance of victory, Davis somehow fluked a red along the top cushion when escaping from a snooker and went on to complete a clearance of 33. The Hastings cueist then registered a run of 98 to force the tie into a deciding frame.
In a memorable seventh and final frame, the contest went down to the colours.
After potting a brilliant green, Drago missed a relatively straightforward brown under normal circumstances.
However, Davis subsequently missed it himself, and the 57-year-old from Valletta slotted home brown to pink to record an emotional win and set up a date with either Jimmy White or Adrian Ridley in the final four on Sunday.
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