Bonnyrigg snooker professional Michael Leslie pushed world No. 7 Mark Allen close before going down 5-3 in a high-quality Wuxi Classic qualifier in Gloucester.
Leslie raced into a two-frame lead, making a break of 61 in the second, but Allen fought back to win the next three with runs of 111, 64 and 61 before Leslie levelled the match again at 3-3 with a 50 in the sixth.
However, Allen won the next two frames to claim victory with breaks of 75 and 108. All things considered, it was a promising start to the season for Leslie.
Glasgow pair Fraser Patrick and Anthony McGill also lost, but John Higgins, Alan McManus and Jamie Burnett all booked their place at the final stages in China.
They will be joined by nine-time world ladies’ champion Reanne Evans, who has qualified for a ranking event for the first time.
At the European Snooker Championship Masters in Poland, Granton’s Craig MacGillivray won his opening group match 3-0 against Peter Varga (Poland).