Dec 15 2011 Chester Chronicle
CHESTER’S Ricky Walden is still dealing with the disappointment of not reaching the final of the UK Championship.
The 29-year-old delivered his best performance in a major televised tournament before losing to Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in the semi-finals.
In Saturday’s last-four match at York’s Barbican Theatre, Walden hit back from 3-1 down to lead 5-3 at the end of the first session. But the break came at the wrong time and Allen fought back in the next session to win 9-7.
Walden told The Chronicle: “I am disappointed, even now a few days later, that I didn’t get my hands on that trophy because I felt good and believed I had a chance.
“The break in the semi came at a bad time because I knew Allen would come out fighting and after the first session I barely got my hand on the table.
“I still had a big chance to keep the momentum at one stage but I missed a shot on the brown and that was it.”
Despite his semi-final exit, there were plenty of positives to take from his performances in York in front of the BBC cameras.
Walden hopes to carry his form into the Players Tour Championship, which starts today at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
“I have been trying to work on the small things that will improve my game,” said the former Shanghai Masters champion. “I know the fundamentals are there, I just need the consistency to get to the next level.”
Walden was born in Chester but grew up in Bagillt, Flintshire, and attended Flint High School before becoming a pro snooker player.
Until recently he was based at the Q Bar in Volunteer Street, Chester, but the snooker hall he co-owned with his manager closed, leaving him struggling for practice venues in the Chester area.
He said: “I am keeping my options but next year I may have to consider if relocating to somewhere with more practice venues is the best thing for my career.”
En route to the UK Championship semis, Walden knocked out Stephen Lee, Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy before facing Allen, who lost to Judd Trump in Sunday’s final.