The latest group of qualifiers resulted in
a mixed bag of results for me.
I lost 9-4 to Ding Junhui in the qualifier for the U.K. Championship.
Ding played better than anyone has ever played against me in that match.
He had two centuries,2 90's,2 80's,a 70, a 60 and a 50.
H is worst break in a frame he won was 58.
When someone plays that well against you there is not a lot you can do.
Take the positives (if any) and move on.
My next match was against Scott McKenzie in
the Malta Cup.
In a tough battle I managed to win 5-4 but I got beaten the next day 5-3 By Nigel Bond.
It was a scrappy match and I was disappointed with the result and my performance.
Next up was the China open where I lost 5-4
against Jimmy Michie from 4-1 down.
I had a century, a 70 break and won the 8th frame on the pink to level at 4-4.
I was quite unlucky to lose in the end when 24 points ahead with 2 reds left.
I missed a shot to nothing, my next two visits were getting out of snookers,which I managed to do
but I left Jimmy on each time and he cleared up to the black to win. A real sickener.
I then returned home to do an exhibition with
Stephen Hendry in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
I played well and had a great night.
Then it was back to Prestatyn the next day
in order to try and win the one place available in the in the Masters.
In my first match I beat Neil Robertson 5-2. I played well against a tough opponent.
I managed a break of 140 in the sixth frame. My highest competative break in many years.
In the next round later that day I beat Lee
Again I played well and finished the match off with back to back centuries which was very pleasing.
The next morning I played Ali Carter in the
quarter-finals but lost 5-4 in a great match.
From 3-1 down I levelled at 3-3. I made a 50 break in the next frame but lost it on the pink.
I returned the compliment in the next frame, winning on the pink after he had made a 50 break.
In the decider a missed red on 34 points proved costly to me as in two visits Ali cleared up to the blue to win.
Whilst not the result I wanted I was very pleased with my form during those three matches.
My next match is in January (12th or 13th) in the World Championship.
I have a few matches to catch up on in the
Dublin Professional League
against T.J.Dowling, Joe Delaney, Michael Judge and Ken Doherty.
I need some good results to give myself a chance of getting in the top two of the group
and thereby playing in the final.
I am sure these matches will help sharpen me up for January.
I am looking forward to Christmas with my
family, especially for my five year old daughter Isabel,
who is already very excited at the thought of Santa bringing her presents.
I wish all our visitors a wonderful Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.