Early exit was blow for Preston potter

Preston snooker star Ian Burns
Preston snooker star Ian Burns
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Preston’s Ian Burns was at a loss to explain his first-round exit at the UK Snooker Championship last week.

The 29-year-old went down 6-2 to Rory McLeod at the York Barbican in a match that was one-sided from start to finish.

Burns recently pulled off arguably his best performance of the season so far, reaching the third round of the International Championship in China and taking the scalp of Dominic Dale along the way.

But the world No.77 could not carry his form into York, despite feeling great coming into the UK showcase.

“Practice has gone really well,” he said.

“So I was confident coming into this tournament but that’s why it’s even more disappointing that I lost so heavily.

“I felt really good coming into it.

“I lost in Germany to Mark Davis the previous week but I didn’t really do too much wrong.

“To be fair my performance wasn’t great.

“I lost a couple of close frames early on that I probably should have won.

“Frame four was a big turning point.

“Rory needed a snooker and got it so the score was 3-1 going into the interval rather than 2-2 – the difference between a two-frame lead and going in level is massive.

“I didn’t play great all day but I can’t take anything away from Rory as he played very well.”

Burns is guaranteed his place on the professional circuit for at least another season, having earned a two-year tour card with a top-eight placing in the European list last year.

And despite his disappointing showing so far this season, Burns is hopeful he can learn his lessons for the coming months.

He said: “There’s always something to learn from games but I’m not sure what that is yet.

“I lost my first round last year to James Wattana, so I was desperate to get a win on the board this time round.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t do that but I’m sure I’ll be able to take something from it.

“It’s nice to have the security of a two-year tour card – if you ask me at this point next year then I’ll give you a very different answer but I don’t even have to think about that yet.

“I’ll have a couple of days off and then get back on the practice table Monday to get ready for Portugal in a couple of weeks.”

British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all other ranking events. Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via eurosportplayer.com #eurosportsnooker