Despite his belief that his game has never been better, Scott Donaldson was left to curse the brutal nature of snooker after falling to an unfortunate defeat at the Dafabet Scottish Open.
The Edinburgh-based player was always up against it, with Wales’ Michael White a tough opponent ranked higher in the world standings, and so it proved as the Scot was defeated 4-2 in a tight encounter.
Donaldson took the first frame 66-40 but then breaks of 127 and 126 for the Welshman in frames two and three did the damage, with White also taking the sixth to progress.
“I didn’t really do a lot wrong really,” said Donaldson. “I didn’t really let him in, he just fluked a couple of balls and made me pay for it but that’s the game isn’t it?
“I didn’t really miss much and I didn’t play bad safeties, I’m sure Michael (White) will tell you that he fluked a lot of reds to get in so I’m happy with my game – snooker’s just so hard sometimes when you don’t do a lot wrong!
“I’m used to that now, though. I’ve been playing the game long enough to realise it, I’ve won enough games that I shouldn’t of done and I’ve lost a lot that I should’ve won, so I take it as it comes.
“My game has probably never been better so I just need to keep playing well. I had a poor start to the season but I had a problem with my cue and it’s looking better now so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing – I’m happy with my snooker.”
Despite his defeat and, in a pleasing show of solidarity amongst Scottish players, Donaldson singled out 19-year-old Wishaw player Chris Totten for praise after he caused an upset against England’s Mitchell Mann – winning 4-3.
Totten is ranked 122 in the world and was expected to find it tough going against Mann, but the youngster had also surprisingly beaten Wales’ Sam Baird in the first round on Monday and is looking in good shape.
“I’ll be back here to watch,” said Donaldson. “I’ll probably come tomorrow because I think Chris Totten will be on. Hhe had a great win today so I’ll try and support him.
“He deserves that win because he’s a great player, hopefully he can go much further.”
Totten’s more experienced compatriot John Higgins is also safely through to the third round with a superb 4-1 win over Christopher Keogan.
The Wizard of Wishaw started with a break of 144, followed up by a 138 break and, after losing the third frame, he made breaks of 108 and 85, leaving his younger opponent with little chance.
Alan McManus won’t be joining his countryman in the third round, though, after going down 4-3 to David Grace – leaving the world No.30 disappointed.
“I’ve paid the price for a lack of preparation in this tournament, I had no long game,” said McManus.
“On the balls, I was alright and I should’ve still won the match but the balls don’t forgive you. I took my eye off one ball and that’s the only one I missed, but the game doesn’t forgive you so I’m disappointed.
“I played the better stuff but I didn’t win – that happens in snooker.”
• Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Andy Goldstein and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.