A Lancaster potter lamented the “cut-throat” nature of World Snooker’s Q School after seeing his bid for a main tour spot come up short.
James Silverwood was one of around 182 players bidding for 12 two-year tour cards across two events in Burton.
The 25-year-old exited the first event in round three, losing to 11-time Women’s World Champion Reanne Evans, and the opening stage of event two, where he went out to another former Women’s World Champion, Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee.
Silverwood said: “I think the first event was my real chance.
“I had two good wins and I thought the path was right, not that there are any easy matches.
“But looking back I then didn’t really get over my defeat in the first event.
“I know my game is there it’s just about being more consistent.”
Q School represented just over a year since Silverwood suffered a near fatal car crash and he now hopes he can go from strength to strength.
He said: “This year has been about getting my game back and that’s involved a lot of solo practice.
“I don’t think I was match sharp. My scoring was okay but my tactical and safety play wasn’t right, I need more match practice.”
The Q School fortnight is ruthless with Silverwood one of many players questioning whether it is the best way of finding the cream of the amateur crop.
He said: “You can be in the form of your life and be the best player there.
“But you might get the second best player in the event and lose 4-3 and then play the third best player and lose 4-3 and that’s it done.
“There used to be a system where you played eight events across the year and the seven best counted to your final ranking.
“It’s cut throat and very tough.”
Silverwood believes making the breakthrough onto the main tour is the biggest challenge for all players in his position.
He said: “This is the toughest step.
“I think it’s harder to get out of Q School than it is to reach the top 32 in the world when you’ve done it.
“I honestly feel like I’d fly.”
The second Q School event continues until Sunday in Burton,