English Open defeat all part of learning process for Hugill

Ashley Hugill
Ashley Hugill
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ASHLEY Hugill feels like he missed a golden opportunity for a deep run at the Dafabet English Open this week but claims every defeat brings him a step closer to really making waves on the professional snooker tour.

Having recorded a hard-fought 4-2 win over Nigel Bond in round one, Hugill succumbed to another veteran player, Robert Milkins, by the same scoreline in the last 64.

The York cueman actually led 2-0 at the Metrodome Leisure Complex in Barnsley but Milkins got the snooker he needed and cleared up in frame three to start a run of four frames on the trot.

Hugill was disappointed to miss the chance to face four-time world champion John Higgins in the last 32 on Thursday but as a tour rookie, he is learning from every loss.

“I would have liked to have played on the TV table against John, so it feels like a bit of a missed chance,” he admitted.

“That would have been a good experience, especially at a home event in Yorkshire.

“I played quite well. The third frame was a big turning point – I was 2-0 up, on a 64 break and he needed one snooker to tie.

“I missed a black off the spot thinking about cannoning the red out, he got a snooker, I left a free ball and he cleared up.

“It just slipped away from there really. I had more chances but the momentum was with him after that.

“I think I’m getting there slowly but surely. I just need to cut out a few silly mistakes and get more experience and learn from defeats like that.”

And although the second round is his best performance at a ranking event so far this term, the 23-year-old is confident a week to remember is just around the corner.

“I’d like to have a good run in one of the tournaments before Christmas,” he added. “I thought I had a good chance to do that here but it’s just slipped away.”

That left Sheffield-based Chinese cueman Ding Junhui as Yorkshire’s last representative at the event, as he faced Michael White in the evening session.

White raced into a 3-0 lead and although Ding battled back to 3-2, the Welshman produced a break of 95 to book a place in the last 32.

Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds