Snooker: Davis guns down Ebdon

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STEVE DAVIS avenged his World Championship defeat by Peter Ebdon in fine style with a 5-0 victory in the fifth round of the Rothmans Grand Prix in Reading last night.

Davis was beaten 10-4 by Ebdon, the Young Player of the Year, in the first round at Sheffield last April. 'It's a very pleasing result,' Davis said afterwards. 'I didn't have a game going into the championship and I got blown away. Now I've put solidity into my game and I've got some ammunition.'

Nigel Bond swept into the quarter-finals with an easy 5-2 victory over the Scottish teenager, John Higgins. The world No 9 was in commanding form as he ended the giant-killing run of the 17- year-old Higgins. The result was never in doubt after Bond raced into a 4-0 interval lead with breaks of 36, 53, 78 and 61. Higgins staved off the first whitewash of a professional career which began only in June by taking the next two frames.

Bond's new Cuemasters stablemate, Ken Doherty, showed a considerable improvement on his otherwise dismal early-season form to beat Billy Snaddon - the surprise fourth-round conqueror of James Wattana - 5-1.

The world No 5 Neal Foulds, winner of the Regal Scottish Masters title last month, completed the quarter-final line-up when he edged out Steve James, the 10th seed, 5-4.

ROTHMANS GRAND PRIX (Hexagon Theatre, Reading) Fifth round: M Bennett (Wal) bt T Chappel (Wal) 5-1; J White (Eng) bt M Johnson- Allen (Eng) 5-0; N Bond (Eng) bt J Higgins (Sco) 5-2; K Doherty (Irl) bt B Snaddon (Sco) 5-1; S Davis (Eng) bt P Ebdon (Eng) 5-0; N Foulds (Eng) bt S James (Eng) 5-4.