RUGBY potter Chris Wakelin was left cursing nothing but his luck after slipping to a first-round defeat at the UK Snooker Championship on the first night in York.
Wakelin arrived at the Barbican in confident mood after a productive week at the Ruhr Open in Germany, where he reached the quarter-finals.
That confidence was evident as he took an early two-frame lead against Alfie Burden on Tuesday, only to be pegged back before the interval.
Wakelin went onto lose 6-4 but pin-pointed a moment in the sixth frame – when he held a slender 3-2 lead – that turned the game in Burden’s favour.
“I came back out after the interval, got off to a great start and went 3-2 in-front in one visit and then in the next frame I should be going 4-2 up.” recalled the 22-year-old world No.72.
“I was two balls away and I got a pretty disastrous kick on the black and in the end he has cleared up to go three each rather than 4-2, which I think was a big turning point.
“I won the next frame in one visit as well, so I was obviously playing well but that kick has cost me potentially a three-frame lead and I think that is what cost me the match.
“I missed the pink at four each as well and the black off the spot – two shots missed and a kick and that has cost me the match. You can’t really argue because I have made a couple of mistakes and Alfie played really well.
“Just a little bit of luck here and there and that kick played on my mind as well. It’s a tough one to take but good luck to Alfie in the next round and I hope he does well.”
The defeat was doubly disappointing for Wakelin after he came to the UK Championship confident of causing a stir.
A quarter-final finish in Germany, only Australian Open champion Judd Trump could halt his progress, had ensured sights were set high in York.
“I played really well in Germany.” he added. “I sort of showed what I can do. It was nice to do well but it’s always nice to try and get through a few rounds on home soil.
“I didn’t come here with the intention of just winning one match. I came here thinking to myself I would like to do well in this tournament, but sadly it’s not meant to be.”
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