McLeod is at a loss after defeat

Rory McLeod
Rory McLeod

A devastated Rory McLeod admits he is struggling to work out just what to do next after suffering an early exit in the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open.

The Wellingborough cueman suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Adam Duffy, a game in which neither player made a half-century break in the match.
McLeod had actually taken the lead in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, but a run of three straight frames saw his opponent seize the initiative, the last of which came in fortuitous circumstances.
And despite halving the deficit, there was nothing the world No. 58 could do to prevent his premature exit, continuing what has already been a tough season on the table.
“I’m devastated, it’s not what I wanted at all,” he said. “I had no run of the ball and it was a real fight.
“It was scrappy and that was his gameplan, just to fight it out and it’s worked for him.
“It’s been nothing like what I wanted this season, I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and work out what I can do.
“He’s had two lucky snookers to go 3-1 up instead of 2-2 and that’s a completely different game, it’s unreal some of the things that were happening out there.
“I haven’t got time to rest now, I’ll be straight back on the practice table ahead of the UK Championships.”
There was also disappointment for Kettering's Kyren Wilson, on the end of a break-building masterclass from Sam Craigie.
In truth Wilson did little wrong, scoring a century in just the second frame of the match to level things at 1-1 – the only frame he was to win.
But two tons and two half-centuries from his opponent rendered the game a non-contest, with the world No.13 at least pleased he can have time on the practice table after a tough period.
“I know Sam’s game well, we grew up together as juniors so I know how good he is,” he said.
“With the way the standard is now, you’ve got to get off to a good start especially in these best-of-seven matches, and I wasn’t really able to do that.
“I’m a bit stop-start this season, I’ve not practised at all for the past two weeks so snooker has taken a backseat with my two little boys not being well.
“You can’t always dedicate yourself to the sport, and with the standard as it is nowadays, you have to constantly practice.”

Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds