Sheffield potter Joel Walker could scarcely believe his eyes as he bowed out in the first round of the UK Snooker Championship in heartbreaking fashion last night.
It could not have been any closer for the 19-year-old as he fouled on a re-spotted black with the scores locked at 5-5 in York against the veteran Alan McManus.
That cost the world number 86 a place in the second round and undid all the hard work that Walker had put in to level affairs from 5-2 down at the Barbican Centre.
And he cut a disconsolate figure after having victory snatched away from him in such dramatic fashion against the former Masters champion.
“I don’t really know where to start with that,” he said. “I thought I had lost but he missed an easy yellow and I managed to clear up the colours for a re-spot.
“I had a double on the black and I weighed up whether I was going to go for it. I went for it in the end and I went in-off. That’s just snooker I suppose.
“I would rather have lost 6-3 than like that, it’s very disappointing. I have never lost a re-spot going in-off like that, especially at 5-5 at the UKs. This is one of the toughest ones to take.
“But hopefully it will stand me in good stead when things get close again. Alan is so tough to play against, his safety is just fantastic.”
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