THERE was massive disappointment for Cork snooker star Aaron Hill late last night when he lost out on the pink in the deciding frame in the matchroom.live Northern Ireland Open in Milton Keyes to Jackson Page from Wales 4-3.
Hill acquired a valuable early 3-0 lead in this best of seven frame match, but Page fought back to level matters and it left a deciding frame between Hill and the world no 71.
All things considered this was a very positive performance from Hill following his 5-0 defeat to Liang Wenbo last week in the second round qualifiers for the German Masters.
"I Just couldn’t settle in the game against Wenbo and I got punished for it."
The last time Page and Hill met was in Eilat in Israel in 2019 in the European U21 semi-final and on that occasion the Welshman had the better of the contest winning 4-0 but this was a much closer affair.
Last night in the opening frame saw Hill enter with a solid 34 break including a lot of pots on the lower value colours and he took his points and eventually run out a comfortable winner in the opener.
Frame two was even better for the Cork snooker ace who dominated throughout eventually winning the frame 92–34 and Hill was back to usual self, enjoying his snooker.
Frame three was important and Hill trailed early on, but bit by bit he fought his way back into the frame and eventually potted the vital balls on the colours to put the frame out of sight and move to within one frame of victory.
You can never write off a player of Jackson Page’s ability and he came out on top early in frame four with an early 43 break and then Page went on to win his first frame of the evening.
Again in frame five Page got in first and set himself the early lead by 47 point lead and Hill just couldn’t find his way back into the match needing snookers and suddenly the gap was just one frame.
Momentum is everything in snooker and certainly the momentum definitely in frame six swung in favour of the Welshman who again was playing the best snooker of the evening opening his account with an 80 plus break to draw level and force this match to a one frame decider for victory.
The last frame was incredibly nervous with the two players tied on 26 points each and just two reds and a possible 46 points available.
Hill potted the two reds and a colour to have the advantage after a 15 minute stalemate of pure safety play, but Page got a chance and took it and sealed victory on the pink it what was a devastating night for the Cork man.