Mark Allen says missing a 'shocker of a black' dashed his hopes of winning a second Scottish Open title in three years as he went down to a last 16 defeat against an in-form Ricky Walden.
The 2018 champion threw away a 3-2 lead against the world No.39 as a break of 73 from Walden in the decider hauled him over the line. Allen, the world No.9, rued his inability to take his chances and knows missing a gilt-edged black cost him dear.
The 34-year-old fumed: "I missed a shocker of a black, if I'm honest, in that last frame.
"I was 49-0 up with an easy black on the spot when the reds were all sitting. I've only got myself to blame, and you can't be missing balls like that and expect to win.
"It was frustrating in the fact that I got in a great position to win the match and didn't take it. It's not often that I put myself in those positions and don't do it, so I'll have to go away and think about that as it was a really bad black that I missed. I'll just put it down to a lack of concentration."
Three-time ranking event winner Walden opened up with a first frame break of 90 but quickfire visits of 62 and 129 from Allen turned the tables and hauled him in front.
The pair then exchanged frames to put Allen on the brink before a scrappy sixth teed up a nervy decider.
And it was Walden who held his nerve to battle through and book his third ranking event quarter-final in the last three seasons.
Allen has now qualified for this month's World Grand Prix but admits that's no consolation for defeat in the third Home Nations event of the season.
"That was a bit of sub plot - I wanted to come here and win the Scottish Open. That was the plan," he added. "Whatever happened with the Grand Prix happened. I think I've probably done enough to get in, but that's not what I want to be doing.
"I don't want to be scraping into those types of event - I want to be winning these type of events and getting in comfortably."
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