World Professional Snooker Championship
Title Challenge Match
15th – 21st March, 1965
Burroughes Hall, 19 Soho Square, London W1
(Phone GERrard 3347)
JOHN PULMAN (England) 37-36 FRED DAVIS (England)
Day 1 With both players warming up, Fred led first by 7-5, with 2 breaks of 58 being his best efforts. Pulman found his most fluent form in frame 2, taking it 126-4 (breaks 22,34,22). Davis 7-5
Day 2 Pulman was on top, winning 8-4, with breaks of 61,51,45 and 46 to establish a 13-11 lead. Lots of safety play – often 6 or 7 consecutive safety returns to baulk. Pulman 13-11
Day 3 Fred controlled the exchanges and breaks of 79,74,66 and 51 brought him up to 18-18. Pulman’s breaks were 56 and 61. The standard of play was by now exceptional. 18-18
Day 4 The match was turning into a ding-dong battle. Pulman made the most brilliant and vital shot of the match in the 40th frame, to draw level 20-20. He potted the black along the full length of the baulk cushion from a narrow angle. Davis took the afternoon 4-2 (breaks 46,67 and 49). Pulman took the evening with brilliant attacking snooker. In frame 45 he made a break of 112. He took the 47th easily, 87-9 (51 break). Frame 48 was the most thrilling of the match. Fred led 57-26, with two reds left. After he had purposefully tucked up pink and black on the side cushion, Pulman made a wonder break of 30, to rescue both balls; all on the black, and after six beautifully executed safety shots by both players, ended with Pulman cutting the black in to the top left pocket with the cue-ball just 2 inches from the right baulk pocket. A full house nearly lifted roof off with applause! It was the finest session of the match – some said in the history of the event! 24-24
Day 5 Each of the 12 frames was won by the player who managed to break into the pack. Again, superb snooker throughout! In the 5th frame of the afternoon, Pulman led 54-17, just two reds left. Fred potted a wonder red, followed up with a 37 break to level the scores 54-all and requiring a re-spotted black. At the third attempt, Pulman cuts the black into the left baulk pocket but the cue-ball goes around the table into the top left corner: Very bad luck for Pulman but Fred overdue for a slice of luck. In frame 59, Fred compiled a magical break of 105. The break started with 6 reds and blacks. The last two reds, difficult, having to be kissed off the cushion: all obstacles surmounted, only to get a bad position on the yellow, which stays on the lip of the pocket from a thin cut, with a 132 on. Fred makes further breaks of 54,37 and 32, while Pulman’s best for the session were 45 and 37. 30-30
Day 6 Pulman won 3 of the first 4 frames to lead 33-31, chiefly through excellent long potting during a period of tense play. The balls run unfavourably for both players with the colours tucked away. Fred seized his solitary scoring opportunity in frame 63, which he won 70-44, with a 43 break. Fred then also won frames 65 and 66 convincingly (83-36 and 66-13) with Pulman having few chances. 33 frames-all with one session to go!
Pulman took the first frame, 75-62 (breaks 34 and 22) but Fred won the second, 71-39 (breaks 20 and 34). Pulman regains the lead in a low scoring 69th, 61-19. Fred draws level again, in a dramatic frame, on the black, 59-50. Fred is first away, leading 24-0. Pulman takes a red and pink but tucks himself up on the cushion. He misses an attacking shot. Fred takes advantage and extends his lead to 57-12 with just two reds left and despite a late do or die flurry from Pulman, Fred gets a chance and doesn’t miss. Fred leads 36-35 with two to go. One slip now and Pulman is an ex-champion. Frame 72, Pulman scores 27 and 23 to win the frame 69-40. The match is 36-all and the spectators are on the edge of their seats.
The 73rd and final frame: Fred breaks and after 2 safety shots each, Fred makes the first mistake when his safety return catches a red near the blue spot. Pulman scored 4 reds and blacks (32 break) but Davis got in with small visits of 10 and 14 before Pulman got in again. This time, showing nerves of steel, a 33 break took his lead to 71-31 with only four colours remaining. Pulman had defended his crown. Pulman 37-36