THERE was virtually no room for error at the Belgian Open last weekend for Keighley snooker star Rebecca Kenna, who, by losing just one frame in the group stages, had the nightmare task of facing runaway world number one Reanne Evans in the quarter-finals.

To be fair to Kenna, who is no slouch at fourth in the world herself, she gave it her all in a titanic tussle with Evans.

After heavy defeats in the opening two frames, Kenna roared back to win 68-46 in the third and 64-25 in the fourth. But it was Evans who triumphed in the deciding fifth frame, which ended 59-13 in her favour.

Evans ended up in the final, where she lost a fine match 4-2 to the world number two, Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee.

Kenna meanwhile could take solace from playing some excellent snooker in her first competitive action of 2020, while also being left to rue missing out on an easier draw in Bruges.

Speaking to the Keighley News, she said: “I was feeling good but the reason I drew Reanne in the quarters, and not the semis or final, was because a lot of people got through their groups with a 100 per cent (frame-winning) record.

“I played all but one of my four group games on the Friday, with one on the Saturday morning. I won three of them 2-0 but only won one 2-1, against a new player (Chucky Preston) who I had in my group that was very good.

“I think she’s Northern Ireland’s number one but they only seeded the world’s top eight, and as she’s still fairly new to the circuit, she’s totally unranked.

“That can happen sometimes at these tournaments, where you get some really good unranked players that sneak into your group.

“That made the ranking harder for me and I just had to try my best.”

Kenna still topped her group, despite the best efforts of Preston, and that gave her an intriguing match up against Germany's Diana Stateczny.

She won that last-16 clash 3-1, with the opening frame, which she edged 51-45, key to the outcome of the match.

Discussing the game with Stateczny, Kenna said: “She’s mainly a pool player and she actually plays with a pool cue. I’ve never gone up against her before but it was a good match.

“She certainly knows her way round the table and it’s always good to play against different players.

“In that first game, it was only my safety play that got me through and it’s good that I could use that to see me over the line.”

That knockout win over Stateczny led to the big clash against Evans, with Keighley’s Kenna saying: “The first two frames Reanne started strongly, with two big breaks, so there was nothing I could do.

“I was happy to get it back to 2-2 but I didn’t take my chances in the last frame, so it’s back to the practice table to ensure I make them next time.”

Next time is not too far away for Evans, and discussing her 2020 schedule, she said: “The next confirmed tournament is the Festival of Women’s Snooker in Leeds at the Northern Snooker Centre at the start of April.

“But the sport’s governing body in England, the EPSB (the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards) have just announced a women’s event in March, having not held one for ages, but we don’t know where that will be played yet.

“They’re trying to gauge how many women will play, to see whether it will be a straight knockout tournament or not.

“But I’ll be playing regardless, as I like to do as many tournaments as I can.”