UK Championship: James Cahill defeat leaves David Gilbert wanting to 'smash up cue'

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the York Barbican
James Cahill
James Cahill had previously lost his professional status in 2017
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 26 November-8 December
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 30 November

World number 11 David Gilbert said he wanted to "smash up his cue" after losing to 118th-ranked James Cahill in the UK Championship first round.

Gilbert, 38, trailed his fellow Englishman 2-0 and 4-3 before levelling at 4-4 with his second century.

But Cahill, who beat Mark Selby at the York Barbican last year and stunned Ronnie O'Sullivan at the World Championship in May, rallied to win.

"I just love playing against the best players," the 23-year-old said.

He lost his professional status in 2017 but won back his tour card at the start of the season, following his spectacular win over five-time world champion O'Sullivan at the Crucible.

However, Cahill, from Blackpool, had only won one match this season before his victory over Gilbert, losing to many of the world's best players, including Judd Trump, Mark Williams and Mark Allen.

"I have maybe tried too hard since the Worlds and maybe put too much pressure to get to where I think I should be," he said. "But I have had quite a lot of tough draws.

"I have not had a great season so far but have been playing some good stuff and am glad it showed out there.

"When you are not winning a lot it's harder to get over the line. Winning breeds winning and hopefully I can get back to winning ways."

'Waiting for Santa to come'

David Gilbert in action
David Gilbert lost the English Open final to Mark Selby in October

Tamworth potter Gilbert, a four-time ranking event runner-up and semi-finalist at the World Championship last season, said there were "no positives" after losing to a player ranked 107 below him in the world.

The 38-year-old has only ever reached the fourth round once in seven appearances, having also lost in qualifying on 10 occasions.

"I love this tournament but I can't win a game in it," he added, lamenting a couple of "terrible shots" in the final two frames.

"He played all right. Fair play to him. I've just got no bottle. That's why I can't win anything.

"He's about 120 in the world and every other top-16 player has probably got a walkover. I was a bit unfortunate that I got a lad that fancies winning.

"It's a great tournament and a great arena and I want to be a part of it but somehow I can't win a match here.

"I just want to go and smash my cue up and wait for Santa to come."

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