Snooker ace Jimmy Robertson came within a win of a place at the venue stage of the Australian Goldfields Open.
The Bexhill-based professional was beaten 5-2 by Liang Wenbo in the final round of qualifying this afternoon (Tuesday) having won two matches to get to that stage.
World number 54 Robertson got off to a great start against 26th-ranked Chinese cueman Wenbo, coming from 46 points behind to win the opening frame with the help of a 48 break before beginning the next with a 62 en route to a 2-0 lead.
That was as good as it got for Robertson, though, as Wenbo hit back to win all of the next five frames with top breaks of 106 and 87. Robertson scored just 63 points in those five frames, although he only lost a tight fourth frame on the colours.
Robertson edged out another Chinese player, Lu Ning, 5-4 in the penultimate round yesterday despite never behind ahead until the end. Ning took the first two frames only for Robertson to reply with the next two.
Ning then edged 3-2 and 4-3 in front, but Robertson levelled on both occasions, helped by a run of 64 in frame six. Robertson began the decider with a break of 50 and a subsequent 35 took him over the line.
Robertson began his campaign with a 5-2 success against compatriot Steven Hallworth. The opening four frames were shared with Robertson comfortably winning the second and third aided by runs of 70 and 63, and Hallworth narrowly winning the first (despite a Robertson 64) and fourth.
The 28-year-old Robertson took command thereafter by winning three frames in succession with a top break of 64, although he did have to come from behind in two of them and only clinched the last on the black.
St Leonards-based world number 16 Mark Davis is automatically through to the venue stage - which will get underway on June 30 - and will face Welsh qualifier Dominic Dale in a repeat of the first round tie at the Dafabet World Championship in April which Davis lost 10-5.