1939/1940 Daily Mail Gold Cup
The 1939/1940 Daily Mail Gold Cup was a professional snooker tournament sponsored by the Daily Mail. The cup was won by Alec Brown with Sydney Lee finishing in second place in the final table. It was the sixth and last Daily Mail Gold Cup tournament, although only the fourth as a snooker event. The Daily Mail Gold Cup ran from 1935 to 1940.
|Dates||16 October 1939–10 February 1940|
|Final venue||Thurston's Hall|
The 1939/1940 event was a round-robin snooker tournament and was played from 16 October 1939 to 10 February 1940. Most of the matches were played at Thurston's Hall in London. There were 7 competitors and a total of 21 matches. Each match lasted six days and was the best of 61 frames, a reduction from the 71 frames played in previous years. The 7 included three competitors new to the event: Fred Davis, Walter Donaldson and Sydney Lee. The handicap system was the same as the previous year, each match having a separate handicap.
Joe Davis gave Sidney Smith 20, Alec Brown 25, Walter Donaldson 25, Fred Davis 30, Tom Newman 40 and Sydney Lee 45. Sidney Smith played level with Alec Brown and gave Walter Donaldson 10, Fred Davis 15, Tom Newman 20 and Sydney Lee 30. Alec Brown played level with Walter Donaldson and gave Fred Davis 10, Tom Newman 10 and Sydney Lee 25. Walter Donaldson played level with Fred Davis 15 and gave Tom Newman 10 and Sydney Lee 20. Fred Davis gave Tom Newman 10 and Sydney Lee 25. Tom Newman gave Sydney Lee 15.
Joe Davis struggled with the harsh handicaps given against him and lost his first three matches. He then had a remarkable win against Sydney Lee . Conceding 45 points in every frame, Davis was 16–14 behind after three days play. He then won 16 of the 20 frames on the next two days to lead 30–20 and eventually won 35–26. Joe lost to brother Fred but won his last match against Sidney Smith. With a 20-point advantage, Smith led 29–26 but Davis won the first 5 frames of the final evening session to win the match and avoid the "wooden spoon".
|Fred Davis||40–21||Sidney Smith||16–21 October||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Alec Brown||39–22||Joe Davis||23–28 October||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Walter Donaldson||32–29||Tom Newman||30 October–4 November||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Sydney Lee||37–24||Sidney Smith||6–11 November||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Fred Davis||32–29||Tom Newman||13–18 November||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Walter Donaldson||34–27||Joe Davis||20–25 November||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Alec Brown||33–28||Sidney Smith||27 November–2 December||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Tom Newman||35–26||Joe Davis||4–9 December||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Fred Davis||31–30||Sydney Lee||11–16 December||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Sidney Smith||33–28||Walter Donaldson||18–23 December||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Alec Brown||36–25||Tom Newman||1–6 January||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Sydney Lee||39–22||Walter Donaldson||1–6 January||Burroughes Hall, London|
|Joe Davis||35–26||Sydney Lee||8–13 January||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Alec Brown||35–26||Fred Davis||8–13 January||Manchester|
|Alec Brown||35–26||Walter Donaldson||15–20 January||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Tom Newman||32–29||Sidney Smith||15–20 January||Burroughes Hall, London|
|Fred Davis||35–26||Joe Davis||15–20 January||Houldsworth Hall, Manchester|
|Sydney Lee||37–24||Tom Newman||22–27 January||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Walter Donaldson||37–24||Fred Davis||29 January–3 February||Thurston's Hall, London|
|Sydney Lee||37–24||Alec Brown||29 January–3 February||Hayes, Middlesex|
|Joe Davis||31–30||Sidney Smith||5–10 February||Thurston's Hall, London|
The positions were determined firstly by the number of matches won (MW) and, in the event of a tie, the number of frames won (FW).
- "Snooker". The Times. 12 February 1940. p. 2.