NEW Lothians snooker pro Michael Leslie fell at the first hurdle in his bid to qualify for the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters when he lost 5-2 to David Grace at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield yesterday.
Yorkshireman Grace won the opening frame with a break of 45. Bonnyrigg boy Leslie looked to be in control of the next frame, but a missed long blue for the frame proved to be a turning point. Grace laid a snooker, which Leslie was unable to escape, leaving his opponent a free ball and the Englishman potted to the pink to win the frame. Grace then romped into a 4-0 lead by the interval.
Leslie made a 90 break in the fifth and a 44 in the sixth to reduce the deficit to two frames, but Grace sealed a 5-2 win by taking a tight seventh frame. Perth’s Scott Donaldson won a final-frame decider against Chen Zhe (China) to book his place in the second qualifying round against Yu De Lu (China) while Glasgow’s Fraser Patrick beat Martin O’Donnell (Ireland) and now faces Barry Pinches. Both men play today.