Keogan and Grace suffer early exits in Belfast, but Davison secures impressive win

CHRISTOPHER Keogan fears another season could pass by without him even realising after suffering an early exit in the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open.

Christopher Keogan.

The Doncaster cueman has struggled for form all throughout the year so far, winning just one match in a ranking event with ten defeats to his name.That disappointing run continued in Belfast, downed 4-2 by Xiao Guodong despite having the lead at 1-0 in the Waterfront Hall.Three successive Xiao frames – including two half-century breaks – put pay to those chances however, again dwelling on what could have been in a major competition.“In frames three and four we’ve both had a couple of chances and he’s been the one to take them, 3-1 is such a different game and he had the run from there,” he said.“It’s disappointing because it’s a game that could have gone other way, we both shared the luck but he took his chances better than I did.“The season just seems to be flying by, I would have liked to have won more matches than I have but there are still a few more opportunities which I’d like to take.“There are another three tournaments before Christmas alone, it’s nice to go back and then have some games to go straight into, we’ve got the UK Championships to come next so that’s where the focus will lie.”Also suffering a first-round exit was David Grace, he too humbled in Belfast with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Michael Georgiou.In truth the Yorkshireman struggled throughout, unable to show the form that had seen him pretty happy with life on the practice table.But while he was at loss to explain what deserted him in Belfast, Grace is confident he can shake this off as he prepares to go to home tables and a personal favourite event next week.“It was not very good, that’s about all I can say,” he said.“I’ve been playing well in practice, I just couldn’t get anything going at any stage at this game.“Whenever I came to the table, the balls seemed to be spread out everywhere and the frames were going scrappy, there were just no clear-cut chances.“I can’t complain about my practice form, you obviously have to take it onto the match table and if you don’t do that then you’re going to get beat.“If I’d nicked one back at 2-1 then it could have been a different game.“I’ll head back home and can look forward to York as always, the UK Championships are always a good competition.”There was victory for Paul Davison however, wasting little time with a whitewash of his own against Rod Lawler.The 46-year-old was fully deserving of the win too, as Lawler picked up just 26 points in the match, now set to play either Daniel Wells or Dave Gilbert on Wednesday.

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