AFTER a promising run at last year’s UK Snooker Championship, Scott Donaldson fell at the first hurdle this time around – but he took comfort from the fact that at least he was beaten by a fellow Scot.
The 20-year-old was one of a strong crop of Scottish players at the Barbican in York in 2013, beating Matthew Selt and Mark Davis before slipping to defeat at the hands of Joe Perry.
However, a first-round clash with Marcus Campbell – nicknamed the Dumbarton Destroyer – was as far as he would get this time around.
Campbell clinched a 6-4 victory over Donaldson as the UK Championship began yesterday afternoon and he conceded he was beaten by the better man.
“If I’m going to lose to anyone, I would rather it’s to someone from Scotland – it’s good to support them,” he said. “I didn’t deserve to win out there, it’s as simple as that. The way he played meant Marcus deserved to win and in my opinion I thought it was the right result.
“I suppose the fact I made the third round here last year and showed I could win here makes the result even more disappointing.
“All I can say is good luck to him because he’s a good guy. I just need a couple of good wins but you don’t know what’s around the corner, so I will keep on trying. Lisbon’s up next, so I’m looking forward to that – seeing where Celtic won the European Cup!”
Elsewhere yesterday, former world champion Graeme Dott saw off the challenge of Swiss teenager Alexander Ursenbacher 6-2.
Dott had lost his last two competitive matches – including a 6-1 defeat to Craig Steadman in the first round of China’s International Championship – but insisted those defeats are firmly behind him.
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“My form was pretty good up until the last main ranking tournament, where I lost to Craig Steadman,” said the 37-year-old. “Before that I was playing pretty well and everything was going okay so that was obviously a blip. I felt quite comfortable. The first four frames, I managed to win them all but it could have been any score.
“It could have been 4-0 to him – he had a chance in every frame – so I was happy to be 4-0 up and then he started to play quite well after that. It could have gone to 4-3 so I was quite happy to finish the match okay.
“The top players are on a hiding to nothing really because you’re expected to win so I’ve done all I’m expected to do – I’ve played well and I’ve won the match.”
Ross Muir nearly pulled off the tournament’s first major shock, opening up a 2-0 lead against another former world champion in Peter Ebdon.
The clash eventually went to a deciding frame but Ebdon kept his cool to win 6-5 and deny the teenager a place in the second round.
“Peter played well and there weren’t many balls missed in the match,” said Muir.
“I’m positive coming out of the game and hopefully I’ve got a few long runs in tournaments coming up over the next few months.
“It’s another good experience for me and to push Peter to 6-5 isn’t bad – he’s one of the best players ever who has won everything.”
Michael Leslie was beaten 6-0 by an in-form Robert Milkins – admitting he didn’t do enough at the table.
“Last year I was 4-0 down at the interval and ended up winning, so at the interval I was still thinking, ‘can lightning strike twice’? but I just couldn’t get going and couldn’t get settled out there,” he said. “Rob deserved to win.”
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