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Wilson slams lack of practice after Northern Ireland Open defeat

·3-min read
Wilson embarked on a memorable run to the Crucible final but ripped into his poor preparation for the Northern Ireland Open
Wilson embarked on a memorable run to the Crucible final but ripped into his poor preparation for the Northern Ireland Open

Kyren Wilson blasted his lack of preparation after throwing away a 2-0 lead to go down 4-2 in the third round of the Northern Ireland Open, writes Will Jennings.

The Kettering player, who reached the World Championship final before being crowned Championship League champion earlier this year, slumped to defeat against world No.28 Michael Holt in Milton Keynes.

The world No.5 came out of the blocks rapidly with breaks of 80 and 71 but Holt, the reigning Shoot Out champion, roared back to move into the last 16.

Wilson will now turn his attention to next week’s UK Championship and hopes his premature exit can bolster his chances in the prestigious Triple Crown event.

“My prep for this event has been really poor,” the 28-year-old moaned.

“So in hindsight it’s nice that I’ve got a few days to prepare properly for what is on me of our majors. Obviously I’ll go away, reassess and come back next week.

“He just played well. At 2-0, a scrappy one in the third could have gone either way and obviously Michael won that and grew confidence.

“I didn’t feel like I did too much wrong, just missed a couple of long balls and he played well.”

The Northamptonshire player got off to a flyer under the Marshall Arena lights as breaks of 80 and 71 opened up a speedy two frame advantage.

But back came Holt as a scrappy third frame, followed by a more fluent visit of 64 in the fourth, levelled the scores.

Wilson hardly got a look in after that and clinical efforts of 54 and 55 from the Hitman dealt a knockout blow to the four-time ranking event winner in Milton Keynes.

Holt has been on the globetrotting World Snooker Tour for three times longer than Wilson, who only joined the professional Tour in 2013 before embarking on a searing rise to this summer’s Crucible heights.

He will next face Ashley Hugill in the first round of the UK Championship and admits a lack of experience cost him in his Northern Ireland Open defeat.

“He’s obviously been around a hell of a lot longer than me,” added Wilson.

“He’s got a lot more experience than me. He stuck in there from 2-0 down and played well.”

Watch the Northern Ireland Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app, and stream on discovery+