RYAN Clark may have bowed out of the UK Championships in the first round on but the Hartlepool potter is confident of going a lot further in 12 months’ time.
The 21-year-old slipped to a 6-4 defeat at the hands of world number 19 Matthew Stevens at York’s Barbican Centre.
The youngster had fought back from 3-1 down, winning back-to-back frames to draw level, but Stevens’ class eventually shone through.
But Clark, who has had the financial backing to play regular snooker for less than a year, was determined to remain upbeat.
“I should be a lot better prepared next year and hopefully have a better run,” he said.
“I wasn’t really playing before Christmas so from sort of not playing to playing in the second biggest tournament and playing on the tour is a big jump.
“I would just like to win a few more matches and hopefully have a good run in one of the bigger events.
“I don’t think I played my best but I was happy with the way I battled.
“I probably shouldn’t have won a few of the frames that I won and I played some good safety, which was good.
“I just struggled with the scoring side of it.
“It was probably the most I have practiced for any competition really and I was fairly confident going into the match.
“Obviously a player like Matthew isn’t an easy game but I was fairly confident.”
Clark (pictured) believes the turning point came when his mini resurgence ended, which allowed Stevens to pick up two straight frames and set up the win.
And he admitted it was all the more frustrating to come close to pulling off an upset, only to be sent packing.
“I felt like I was getting a grip of the match at 3-3 but he won that one so it was a big turning point,” he added.
“I’m just disappointed really.
“It’s sort of like you put a lot of effort into it, but it doesn’t make any difference if you got beaten 6-0, 6-5 or 6-4.
“It is a lot more disappointing when you put a lot more into a match and you don’t get the result.
“I’m going back to the practice table for the World Open and the German Masters qualifiers.
“My season could be going better.
“Obviously it could be worse but there is a lot of time for improvement and hopefully it does happen.”
l BRITISH Eurosport is the home of snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk