Mark Davis was denied a first ranking title as former world champion Stuart Bingham won the English Open with a 9-7 victory in Crawley.
Davis, the 46-year-old from Sussex who turned professional in 1991, easily beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 on Saturday to reach his first ranking final.
He made a 136 to lead 5-4 in a superb final featuring 11 breaks over 50.
There was never more than a frame in it until Bingham won a tactical 16th frame to seal his fifth ranking title.
The two friends, with a combined age of 88, were contesting the oldest ranking final and Davis ensured it was level at the first interval with his second 136 of the tournament, his fifth century of the week.
Davis went ahead for the first time since the opening frame with a clearance of 94 and was on a break of 40 in the next when he declared a foul on himself for feathering the cue ball.
Bingham made a 78 clearance to win that frame and added a 73 in the next to move 6-5 ahead but Davis levelled again at 6-6 at the final interval.
The Sussex crowd showed their approval as Davis edged ahead again with a 65 clearance but Bingham responded with his highest break of the match, an 82, to make it 7-7.
He eclipsed that with a 102 and closed out the match to secure the Steve Davis Trophy, becoming the first player to win two home nations titles.
Asked whether admitting the foul in frame 10 was the turning point in the match, Davis told Eurosport: “We’ll never know, I was feeling good then. If it takes me another 27 years to reach a final there’s a bit of a problem somewhere!”
Bingham said of the incident: “I was thinking the worst there, to be 6-4 down, to own up well done to Mark, but that’s in our game.”
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