ROSS Vallance admitted it will take some time to get over his sinking feeling after surrendering a lead and slipping out of the Coral Scottish Open at the first round.
The 29-year-old was a wildcard entry at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, but looked in good shape against Ben Woollaston, only to fall to a 4-1 defeat.
That was despite winning a nerve-settling first frame, fighting his way on to the board in Scotland’s first ranking tournament since 2010.
But a mistake at a crucial moment was costly as he unfortunately potted the blue and red together in the second frame – a piece of bad luck which saw Vallance take just five further points in the last four frames.
And despite the amateur showing his fighting spirit against the world No.27, the Edinburgh man was left miffed at just how sour his game turned on home tables.
“I’m frustrated, I made a few bad safety shots here and there but ever since the first frame I completely lost my way and that’s hard to take,” he said.
“The experience was really enjoyable, but I hardly potted a ball late on.
“I didn’t miss too many chances that I was given, but I let him in too many times and when you do that then you’re putting yourself right on the back foot.
“One or two bad shots and you lose three frames on the trot and from the game has escaped me. I’ll learn a lot, I need to improve my game but it’s a pity I couldn’t do much better on home soil.”
Elsewhere, in what was undoubtedly the tie of the Coral Scottish Open first round, John Higgins safely dispatched friend and compatriot Alan McManus to reach the last 64.
The world No.3 bounced back from a frame down to win four on the spin, taking bragging rights in the Emirates Arena to reach the second round after a 4-1 success.
It’s a tournament on familiar territory long overdue for Higgins, having already taken two titles in the country in his career.
But despite a stellar year which has already seen him boast back-to-back titles, ‘The Wizard of Wishaw’ feels getting his hands on the Stephen Hendry trophy would far eclipse anything else this season.
“It would be amazing to win at home.
“I can still remember winning here before many years ago and getting to the second round makes me feel I’m in the tournament,” said the five-time world champion.
“Snooker is always great in Scotland, when you go to a big competition just ten minutes down the road it’s a different feeling and it’s something you want to capitalise on.
“Winning it would be one of my best, but there are 128 top players and there is a long way to go.
“In Alan I’ve already beaten a top-32 player, you don’t get many tougher challenges. He was fired up to be at home too so it’s a good one to come through 4-1.”
Higgins will face Scott Donaldson next after the Capital-based player enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 victory over Itaro Santos, making top breaks of 61 and 53.
• Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds