Chatteris cueman Joe Perry cursed his luck after losing a final-frame decider to Kettering’s Kyren Wilson to fall at the first hurdle in the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield.
Perry trailed 5-4 at the end of the first session and, in a topsy-turvy encounter, levelled the match at 9-9 after a 58-minute marathon 18th frame.
But the world number 10 blinked first in the decider as qualifier Wilson held his nerve to reach round two.
“The whole pattern of the match was the same, I chased it the whole time,” bemoaned Perry.
“I didn’t feel good and I thought I played really well considering.
“I felt confident coming in, but I didn’t really feel it out there.
“I was happy with the way I played, but my head wasn’t good. I got frustrated. I felt like the run of the balls was against me through the entire match.
“I had a couple of little rubs at 9-8 and his head looked like it was going to fall off, he’d had the run for 17 frames.
“Little things were bothering me, they don’t normally, but over both days I felt like anything that could go wrong did go wrong. I’m just really gutted.”
A break of 72 saw Perry off to the perfect start as he pulled level at 5-5, but a magnificent clearance of 129 put Wilson back in front.
The sequence of sharing frames continued until Perry picked up the first two following the mid-session interval with breaks of 59 and 80 to lead 8-7.
Timely breaks of 58 and 62 put Wilson back ahead and frame 18 was typical of the entire contest, going to and fro until Perry stole it on the final three colours.
But Wilson’s safety play in the decider proved the difference.
“You hope in a long match that it turns,” Perry added. “But he played great and potted some unbelievable balls.
“The tables are playing ridiculously easy. If you miss one its a shock because anything near the pocket is going in.
“If you’re playing well you should play good snooker out there.”
Perry returns home to Chatteris having won £145,800 in prize money this season.
And despite reaching two ranking tournament semi-finals the 41-year-old is looking forward to some time off the table.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Gentleman Joe.
“I’ve had some good runs in tournaments, but it’s been a mixed bag.
“Off the table I’ve had a whole heap of things going on in my private life that hopefully are all behind me now and I can have a little break and look forward to next year and just play snooker.”Watch the World Championship LIVE on Eurosport, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan.