Adam Duffy admitted he was absolutely devastated after suffering a heart-breaking 4-3 loss to Peter Ebdon which saw his Coral Northern Ireland Open hopes come to a crashing halt.
The Sheffield cueman had looked in complete control in his second-round match, 2-0 up as well as having a strong chance to clear up in the seventh and final frame.
But an Ebdon comeback, coupled with a bad kick while break-building, saw his bid for the Alex Higgins trophy come to a standstill in Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on Wednesday
And Duffy admitted he could hardly believe what had happened, a damning finale to what the world No.110 hoped could have been a breakthrough tournament for his career.
“I don’t even know how I’ve lost, I was absolutely adamant I had that frame,” he said. “I just can’t believe it, I feel distraught and it’s all come down to one little moment which is so hard to take.
“I felt I was cruising at 2-0, Peter was struggling a little bit in the early stages but I knew if he could get himself set then he’d come fighting back, and I thought I held onto that well.
“If I had a better run of the ball then I wouldn’t be sitting here disappointed, but ultimately that’s what happened.
“It’s hard because I felt good, I was playing well and I had the belief that I could have got to the quarter-finals, there was still plenty of snooker in me still.”
It’s a result Duffy admits will be hard to get over, also missing the rub of the green in last month’s Coral English Open loss to Anthony Hamilton.
But time to dwell will be at a minimum for the 27-year-old, gearing up for next week’s UK Championships in York.
And with a tie against David Gilbert to come, Duffy admits it’s a game he’ll go into with mixed emotions, hoping the confidence of the performance can alleviate the pain of the result in Belfast.
“You need the luck, you just have to go on to the next tournament and hope that you get over it,” he said.
“The UK Championships is a big one for all of us so I have to get over that, this was a nice chance to go into that with some form which I still think I’ve done, just not for as long as I’d hoped.
“Perhaps it can be a blessing in disguise, I’ve got some time now to spend six or seven hours a day on the practice table and hopefully get myself ready for next week.”
Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.