Reanne Evans’ Snooker Shoot Out appearance ended in disappointment as she suffered a 63-5 defeat to John Astley.
Astley got in early with a break of 22, and disaster struck soon after for the 12-time women’s world champion as she went in-off when attempting a safety.
With ball in hand, Astley moved into a 42-point lead and despite Evans knocking in a good green, the table was horrible for a counter attack and she was unable to make any impression as she slipped to defeat in the first round for the third year in a row.
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“It was a bit nerve-wracking,” Astley told Eurosport. “I knew how good Reanne is, so I just played the table and not the opponent.”
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Earlier in the evening session John Higgins returned to the Snooker Shoot Out for the first time since 2016, and he ensured it was a winning one with a 16-6 win over Scott Donaldson.
It wasn’t a match that will live long in the memory banks, but Higgins is a canny operator and he bided his time after falling behind early in the match.
He did not panic. His chance came in the final couple of minutes and he was able to secure enough points to book his passage into the second round, where he will meet Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in what is arguably the tie of the last 64.
Ryan Day is an outlier in the rankings, as a terrible run has seen him drop down to number 50 in the world. He made an impressive start to the event by beating Matthew Selt thanks to a break of 70 and will meet Ashley Carty in round two.
Liam Highfield produced a rapid finish to pinch victory from Rod Lawler.
Lawler looked in control with 52 points on the board, but he handed the table back to Highfield and he potted yellow to pink inside the final 30 seconds to claim a 57-52 win and a meeting with Connor Benzey.
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Jamie Wilson is one of the fastest players on tour and he looks made Shoot Out snooker judged by the way he demolished Lukas Kleckers 91-8.
The Spaceman was left on the launchpad as Sunny Akani beat Dominic Dale 35-18.
Luck was not on Dale’s side, as he went in-off on two occasions and it allowed Akani to secure a big enough lead to get over the line.
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