DOMINIC Dale emerged firmly on top in the first session of his World Snooker Championship as he heads into Thursday with a commanding 7-2 lead over seeded Mark Davis.
On his ninth appearance at the Crucible, Stroud-based Dale never looked back after building an early advantage, as Davis could only snare the third and seventh frame of the evening.
But it could have been so different for World No.12 Davis who, after losing the opener, was on the brink of taking the second frame with Dale needing a snooker.
And Welshman Dale managed to do just that, forcing Davis into four fouls – after failing to kiss a red – before knocking off 30 to develop a 2-0 lead.
Davis did edge the third with runs of 25 and 44, but could only must 20 points in the next three frames as Dale enjoyed a string of high-scoring visits.
Then 41-year-old Davis gave himself a glimmer of hope by taking a tactical seventh frame, before Dale inflicted further damage in the last two encounters of the night.
Should Dale complete the rout on Thursday he will meet Gloucester’s Michael Wasley – who sensationally beat World No.2 Ding Junhui – in the last 16.
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