It was a case of same old story for Edinburgh’s Ross Muir after a narrow defeat at the Dafabet Scottish Open in Glasgow.
The 22-year-old has made a habit of losing by small margins this season, as exemplified by his 6-5 loss to Michael White at the Betway UK Championship a few weeks ago, and it was the same story in Glasgow with a 4-2 defeat to Alfie Burden.
Muir won the first two frames but then lost the next four, missing out on several key balls that cost the match.
“It was a bit like most of my matches this season,” said Muir. “I’ve played quite well and there’s just fractions here and there that have just cost me.
“Looking back on the match I was 2-0 up with 29 and I’ve left a little gap for a long red to go through and he’s potted that.
“The last one there I had my chance to get my own back on him when he was 67 in front, I missed the last red and it’s been like that the whole season.”
Muir has a two-year tour card for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons and is currently ranked 108 in the world.
Although disappointed with his latest narrow loss and several over the course of the season, Muir did concede that it’s only a matter of time until he starts to win tournaments.
“People look at the rankings or my performances,” he added. “I’ve not won that many games but it’s frightening how close I’ve come in so many games, its miniscule differences.
“Who knows what that’s down to, I’ve just got a new cue in the last six months so maybe I’m not fully used to it.
“I know how good I can be so hopefully I can start showing it at some point instead of first-round losses.
“I know I can win tournaments, not just progress far in them, so hopefully the miniscule fractions will start falling in my favour.”
There was also heartbreak for fellow Edinburgh player Ross Vallance, currently an amateur but playing in the first round at the Dafabet Scottish Open courtesy of his qualifying victory over best friend Robert Carlisle.
Vallance was up against Englishman Ashley Hugill in the first round and displayed some excellent snooker to steam into a 3-0 lead.
But Hugill came back with a break of 113, winning four frames in a row and ending Vallance’s fairytale adventure at the pro tournament.
“I’m absolutely devastated to be honest,” said Vallance. “I should’ve had the game 4-1 from 3-0 up, I’ve never lost a lead from 3-0 before, never in my life, so I’m absolutely devastated.
“I had an easy red to win 4-1, I was 20 in front and I just totally twisted it to be honest with you, got too excited.
“I think I just saw the winning-line too early to be honest and instead of going out to win it I tried to fall over the line.
“I got my chance here and I just wish it could’ve gone better but I tried my best and that’s it.
“I enjoyed my first game, even though it was against my best friend (Robert Carlisle), two amateurs fighting it out with each other.
“I might try and qualify maybe in May or whenever the qualifiers are and just give it one shot, but apart from that I’ll just be working.”
Elsewhere, world No.30 Scot Alan McManus is through to the second round with his 4-2 win over Englishman Matthew Selt on day two.
• Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Andy Goldstein and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.