Bonnyrigg’s Michael Leslie was forced to endure a snooker masterclass from China’s Ding Junhui in the opening round of Event Five of the Betfair European Tour.
The world No. 10 from China went on to win the event last night, defeating Glasgow’s Anthony McGill 4-2 in the final at the Ravenscraig Sports Facility.
Leslie started well in the opening frame of his match but missed a difficult red after running out of position and Ding cleared with 85 to win the frame. A break of 105 in the second was enough for Ding to double his lead before he potted 15 reds and 15 blacks before missing a yellow with the rest which prevented Ding from making a maximum break in the third.
The 19-year-old from Bonnyrigg had a couple of chances in the fourth but another 50 break by Ding was enough to secure a 4-0 victory for the Chinese player. McGill produced the best performance of his career with six victories en route to the final. A 4-0 victory over Robert Milkins followed a 4-3 victory over UK championship semi-finalist Mark Davis to reach the last 16 yesterday. The 21-year-old then defeated Nigel Bond 4-1 and then came from 3-0 behind to stun Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 4-3 to secure a semi-final slot against England’s Andrew Higginson where the young Scot produced an even more remarkable performance.
Trailing 3-1, McGill levelled at 3-3 but then needed two snookers in the decider. He got them both and cleared to force a respot which he won, sinking the black to huge applause from the home crowd.
It was disappointment for the other Scots playing in front of their own fans. Locarno Snooker Club’s Scott Donaldson defeated England’s Jamie Cope 4-3 but, having led Nigel Bond 3-1, Donaldson lost the next three frames to go out 4-3. Four times World Champion John Higgins slipped to a surprise 4-3 defeat to amateur Jordan Brown whilst Graeme Dott, Alan McManus and Jamie Burnett all lost in the second round. Stephen Maguire and Marcus Campbell both reached the last 32 before losing to Steve Davis and Ian Burns respectively.