A promising Morecambe potter can’t wait for more major tournament experience after his first taste of the big time.
Liam Taylor was knocked out in the first round of the pro-am Gdynia Open in Poland, a tournament won by Mark Selby.
The 21-year-old, who plays for Jubilee City in the Lancaster, Morecambe and District Snooker League, enjoyed his 10 days in Eastern Europe despite a 4-1 defeat to Polish prodigy Antoni Kowalski.
He said: “It was brilliant.
“With it being my first overseas event the pressure got to me a little bit more than I thought it would, especially the day before when I went and had a look at the arena.
“It was great though, going to the semis and the final and being around the likes of Mark Selby and Neil Robertson back stage.”
Taylor admitted it took him time to acclimatise to the championship conditions, going 2-0 down before winning the third frame.
Kowalski, only a teenager, fired back though and sealed victory with a fine 71 break in frame five.
Taylor said: “It took me two frames to find my comfort zone and start making decent breaks.
“The first two frames were quite close points wise and there wasn’t much in it even though I went 2-0 down.
“I won the third frame with a 48 clearance and felt a lot more confident.
“But I think he sensed that and really upped his game and banged in a 71 clearance for victory.
“I can’t be too despondent. It was an honour to play in front of a paying crowd and performance wise it’s probably the best I’ve ever played.”
Now attention turns to the new season of European Tour events kicking off in Riga, Latvia, in July, with Taylor hoping to slowly but surely make his mark as he looks to make the transition from keen amateur to fully fledged snooker pro.
He said: “The plan now is to go to the first one of the new season out in Riga in July.
“Hopefully I can go to all of the European Tour events.
“The more I go to these events the more I’ll get used to the format and the tables.
“That caught me out at first because I’m only used to club tables.
“First now it’s about going back to Jubilee and hopefully winning the league again.”