EMMA Wilkinson’s first appearance in the Hotel Collection World 8-Ball Pool ladies singles final ended in heart-breaking defeat at Blackpool last night. (Wednesday)
But the Sunderland potting star put a brave face on her 8-6 defeat to Welsh international, Kirsty Davies.
“I am still happy,” insisted the former European and World Masters champion. “And I will be back next year to have another go.”
Wilkinson, 23, never recovered from an unexpected slow start as Davies, 21, ripped through the opening four frames
“I was more nervous than I thought when I walked into the arena,” admitted Wilkinson after collecting an £800 consolation prize.
“Losing the first four frames was always going to be hard to come back from. I had opportunities but it was just one of those matches,” she added.
Davies becomes only the sixth different winner of the ladies title in the 22 year history of the tournament.
She survived a late scare as Wilkinson-her conqueror in last year’s World Masters final-fought back to only trail 7-6.
“I knew it was going to be a close match so I wanted to start well to settle me down,” explained Davies.
“I managed to do that in the first few frames and I was halfway to victory by taking those first four.
“In the end I could have won 8-5 but I knew the next chance I got I would take it.”
No-one could begrudge Davies the title in only her second appearance at the WEPF World Championships.
Three years ago she suffered whiplash injuries in a car accident and was out of the game for 18 months.
“I was always determined I would play again,” she smiled. “I love my pool too much. “