Muir loses out as opponent’s slow play affects his focus

Ross Muir
Ross Muir
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ROSS MUIR admits he struggled to cope with the slow play of Fergal O’Brien after crashing out of the English Open.

Musselburgh snooker ace Muir had chances in his second-round match at EventCity, Manchester but ultimately went down 4-2 to the veteran Irishman.

O’Brien – a one-time ranking event winner – has long been renowned for his methodical style on the baize and the Scot acknowledges he only has himself to blame for failing to deal with the challenge.

“I lost my concentration quite a lot – Fergal is really slow and it’s hard to keep your focus for that length of time,” said 21-year-old Muir.

“In the third frame I made quite a basic error and I did the same in the last frame. It’s frustrating to make such errors but I’ve just got to learn from it, take the and move on to the next tournament.

“Slow play has never really affected me before. There are quite a few players on the tour who are slow and I’ve been accused of it myself in the past but it was a basic mistake that cost me.

“I had a lot of positives from my first match and had some positives there but every tournament I try to build. I’ll take what I can from this event and hopefully it will make me stronger for the future.”

Muir wasn’t the only Scot to exit the English Open on Wednesday as Scott Donaldson lost 4-1 to world No. 8 Mark 
Allen.

Donaldson actually won the first frame with a majestic 112 break but Allen fought back with knocks of 70, 63, 73 and 60, leaving the 22-year-old contemplative about a second-round defeat.

“That’s what happens when you play the top players,” explained Donaldson.

“I played ok but missed a tough black down the cushion in the second frame and you don’t really have to miss anything to get beaten these days.

“I don’t set myself targets – I just say if you can win a couple of matches every tournament that’s good, so one match is fine. Anything else is a bonus.

“I’m happy with my form and hopefully can keep it going for the rest of the season.

“When I play top players I don’t fear them – I feel good out there, so it’s just keeping that going.”

• Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.