LEEDS potter Sanderson Lam admitted he tried to soak in every moment as he made his UK Championship debut against world No 5 Stephen Maguire.
Lam, one of seven amateurs in the draw at York’s Barbican Centre, claimed the second frame of the match, before Maguire showed his class to pull clear and win 6-2.
Based at the Northern Snooker Centre alongside professionals Peter Lines and David Grace, Lam went into the contest in a buoyant mood.
And though he was comprehensively beaten on Friday, Lam was satisfied with his performance and put the result down to one or two decisive moments that passed him by.
“It is every player’s dream really to play in a place like that,” he said.
“I really enjoyed it out there and surprisingly I played well in front of a crowd like that and playing next to the likes of John Higgins.
“It was tough playing world No.5. You don’t really get many chances against him and when you do, you have got to take them. But I enjoyed it.
“I played all right – surprisingly well. I had a few frames, which I should have won and it cost me really.
“I was playing well in practice and I was really confident – I seemed to be hitting the ball well.
“You have to take your chances against a player like Stephen but I enjoyed it and that is all that matters really.”
Lam pinpointed the fourth frame as a key moment in the match, as he trailed 2-1 heading into the interval.
With the opportunity to draw level for a second time he allowed Maguire an opening and the 2005 champion took full advantage.
And Lam, who has already faced Ding Junhui and Judd Trump this season, admitted he would love to return to the tournament next year as a professional.
“I was 2-1 down and I had a clearance to go 2-2 at the interval and I ended up missing a red that I shouldn’t have missed, due to nerves maybe,” he added.
“I think that was crucial to make it two each, rather than 3-1.
“You only get one or two chances – three if you’re lucky – against a player like that. I’ll take it on the chin and carry on.
“I have got a backer at the moment and if I didn’t have that I don’t reckon I would be here.”
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