Norwich snooker player Barry Pinches misses out on clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan at UK Snooker Championships

Barry Pinches.

Barry Pinches. - Credit: PA

Norwich snooker player Barry Pinches has missed out on the opportunity to face Ronnie O'Sullivan at the UK Snooker Championships.

Pinches, ranked 69th in the world, was in first-round action against Adam Duffy at the Barbican Centre in York last night.

The 43-year-old looked to be on his way to victory and the glamour second-round tie after moving 5-3 ahead of Duffy, who is just three places higher than Pinches in the world rankings.

But Duffy rallied to take all three of the remaining frames in the dramatic match and the 6-5 win, in a match that lasted nearly seven hours and finished in the early hours of Friday morning.

The defeat robs Pinches of the chance to face five-times world champion O'Sullivan in front of the TV cameras, who he beat in the final of Players Tour Championship event four at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield in 2010.

It also sees Pinches exit the UK Championship at just the first round, 10 years after he reached the quarter-finals of the prestigious tournament.

'It was not the best match early on but I had a 5-3 lead,' Pinches said. 'At 5-3 up you never feel like you have the game won but obviously you are a good favourite.

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'Adam played very well to make it 5-5, but in the last frame I had a chance to clear up and could not quite manage it.

'There was all sorts of stuff going on at the end and Adam potted a good black at the end. I had a chance and that's all you can ask for really.

'I should have cleared up at the end but played a bad positional shot from pink to yellow and at this level that sort of thing will cost you.

'The UKs is the second biggest tournament and a match-up with Ronnie was the prize but I have to try and move on to the next tournament.'

A sluggish start to the season has picked up in recent weeks for Pinches who made a strong run to the fourth round of a PTC event in Gloucester earlier this month.

And despite the gut-wrenching manner of this defeat the veteran is confident that his best form is not far away ahead of a season-defining set of qualifying tournaments before Christmas.

'My form has been very good of late, I had a good run at a PTC recently and I have put myself in with a fighting chance of staying on the tour,' he added.

'I am playing really well in practice but it's all about taking that out onto the match table and I could not quite manage it out there.

'But I have to put this behind me now and try and bounce back, there are some big qualifying ones in December so you have to get on with the next one.'

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