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Beaten King ready for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 December 2016

Romford's Mark King celebrated the first win of his career in Northern Ireland (pic PA)

Romford's Mark King celebrated the first win of his career in Northern Ireland (pic PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Romford potter knocked out of Coral Scottish Open

With a maiden title, glistening success and even the odd photoshoot to his name, it’s fair to say 2016 will go down in history for Mark King.

But despite elimination from the Coral Scottish Open in just the second round of competition, the Romford potter was delighted to reflect on a year that has defined his career.

Defeat to Sean O’Sullivan in Glasgow on Wednesday proved the last game of the calendar year for King, a 12 months that saw him end his 25-year wait for a title at last month’s Coral Northern Ireland Open – a win that has become a life-changing moment on and off the table.

And with a Christmas break to look forward to, the world number 22 admitted he was desperate for a chance to hang up his cue for the festive period and finally able to take in just how much has happened in recent weeks.

“This year has been awesome, but I’m looking forward to Christmas with the family,” said King.

“I’ll be back in the New Year, working hard. You can’t win all the time and at least I brought my cue this time, which I didn’t do in the UK Championships!

“As well as winning in Belfast I’ve recently posed for Sport Uncovered magazine – another thing I’ve never done before and that was huge fun!

“I’ve got these huge opportunities thanks to that and I’m playing well and I’m really enjoying everything.”

The expectation was well and truly high in Glasgow for King, looking to become the first man to two titles in the inaugural Coral Home Nations Series.

But he came up against a resurgent force in O’Sullivan, who had already played one of the best games of his life in getting to the second round.

And form in Glasgow continued for the world number 91 as he quickly raced into a 2-0 lead.

King fought back, though, with the first meaningful break of the match seeing him make 88, before O’Sullivan continued his charge with efforts of 87 and 60 to reach the last 32 on Thursday.

“I’m not too disappointed, I missed a red I should have got in the first frame which cost me early on,” added King.

“I had a couple of bad moments in the game, a couple of unlucky moments, but Sean has made one of the best clearances I’ve ever seen to win, so fair play to him.

“I’ve got nothing for admiration for him, he’s a really good player, unbelievable sometimes, and the better man won that game.

“I worked hard for Scotland, but I missed too many silly balls in what is a best-of-seven sprint. I had my luck in Belfast and it wasn’t to be in this one.”

*Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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