SNOOKER: So close to beating world number 10

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Last frame decider with twice tournament champion

Rugby’s snooker pro Chris Wakelin ended the year in fine style when he took world no.10 Mark Allen to a final frame decider in his latest qualifying match in Barnsley.

Wakelin was level at 2-2 against the double Haikou World Open champion. But made two errors which let Allen in for big breaks to open up a 4-2 lead. Wakelin, 21, fought back to 4-4 but didn’t get a chance in the last frame decider.

“I was playing well and had a few chances earlier, which cost me in the end,” he said. “He’s the best player I’ve had a chance of winning against. He’d won that tournament for the last two years and I had a chance to knock him out in the first round, which would have been a big shock.”

In the German Masters Qualifiers, getting used to a new cue tip, Wakelin lost 5-3 to Cao Yupeng, a former World Championships quarter-finalist. He will now make the most of a few weeks break from the hectic competition schedule over Christmas, with plenty of time for practice.

“I’ve been pleased with my first six months,” he added. “I’ve won quite a few matches and played a lot of good players - and actually won against some of the best players in the world. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”