27 Jun 2008
Ireland's promising young cueman answers our questions...
How would you sum up last season?
I was fairly happy with it because I achieved my goal, which was to finish in the top 64 of the rankings. I only just managed it - I finished No 64. I only lost one of my first round matches, that was in the 888.com World Championship when I lost 10-9 on the final pink to Supoj Saenla. Being in the 64 should take a bit of pressure off me and give me a better chance of getting to venues. In theory it should give me easier first round matches, although it doesn't always work like that.
What was the highlight of the season?
I beat John Parrott in the Royal London Watches Grand Prix qualifiers, and also got through to the fourth round of the Maplin UK Championship qualifiers, though I lost to Dave Harold. I practise a lot with Ken Doherty and Fergal O'Brien, but it's always good to play the bigger names in a tournament. It's great experience for me and it will help me when I come up against the top players at venues.
And the lowpoint?
Losing that match in the world qualifiers. I got back from 5-1 down to 7-7, then at 9-9 I was 50 points up in the decider, but he cleared up to win on the pink. If I'd won, I would have got a bye to the third round because Robin Hull had withdrawn. But you have to forget about those things. I had two tournaments after that and I managed to win four more matches, so maybe it gave me a shot in the arm.
What are your ambitions for next season?
To get into the top 48 and qualify for a venue.
Will you change anything about your game?
I want to score better. The cloths we use at the qualifiers are very fast and it takes some time to get used to. I struggled with that, especially in my first season. But I've had two years of experience on those tables now so hopefully I will be better this year. I'm quite an attacking player but I also want to work on getting among the balls first in each frame, to put more pressure on my opponents.
What are you up to over the summer?
I supposed to go on holiday to America, but that's fallen through now so I'm probably going to Crete instead. I might play in some of the Pontin's Pro-Am events but otherwise I'll be practising here in Ireland.