KEIGHLEY potter Rebecca Kenna is looking to end her two seasons on the professional World Snooker Tour on a high, as she takes centre stage on ITV4 for the World Mixed Doubles this weekend.

She will be playing alongside Northern Irish ace Mark Allen in Manchester, as the duo look to get the better of three other pairings over a trio of group matches, hopefully followed by a final.

The prize for the winners is £30,000 but for Kenna, who has not had the easiest couple of years on the baize, purely focused on playing her best snooker.

She told the Keighley News: “I’m definitely looking forward to his weekend, as I was a bit nervous for it last year than this time around.

“I’m really excited to play alongside Mark, who’s in form and really good in the balls.

“You need someone that can heavily score like him in this short frame, best-of-five, format, but hopefully I can have my own positive input in the pairing too.”

Kenna and Allen’s first opponents on Saturday will be four-time Triple Crown winner Judd Trump and last year’s World Women’s Snooker Champion Baipat Siripaporn.

On paper, the Keighley and Northern Ireland combination looks to be the weakest of the four pairs, the others being defending champions Neil Robertson and Mink Nutcharut, then current world champion Luca Brecel and 12-time World Women’s Champion Reanne Evans.

But Kenna is relishing that potential underdog status, saying: “Last year I played this event alongside Mark Selby, and we were the lowest-ranked pair then.

“Judd for example has just won out in China, so he’s certainly in form but I don’t think you can write any of the pairings off in this short-frame format.

“Anyone can reel off three frames in a row, regardless of the form they’re in, so we’re all capable of winning these matches.

“Besides, it’s nice to be an outsider if that’s what I am, as there’s less pressure on me that way.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rebecca Kenna feels that she and Mark Allen have just as much chance as the other pairings in Manchester.Rebecca Kenna feels that she and Mark Allen have just as much chance as the other pairings in Manchester. (Image: PA.)

And Kenna has tried not to put too much pressure on herself in her two seasons mixing it with the men on the professional World Snooker Tour, where she has yet to win a match since making her debut on it in July 2022.

The Keighley potter reflected: “The standard in the men’s game is so high, and I certainly wasn’t match ready when I first joined the tour, especially without me having the proper practice set up like the other players had.

“I was lucky to get the tour card and it’s been a great experience for me, one that’s made me a better player.

“I knew it would be hard to win matches and, like any rookie would, I’ve struggled.

“There are lots of positives though. I’ve played opponents of the calibre of Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy and Jack Lisowski and taken frames off all of them.

“But this World Mixed Doubles and then the upcoming qualifiers for the World Snooker Championship are my last two events on the professional tour.

“Unless I somehow win all my qualifiers and make it to the main draw at the Crucible, I’ll lose my tour card.

“That’s fine, as I never imagined ever even being a professional snooker player, my dream was only ever to win the World Women’s Snooker Championship.”

That has yet to happen for Kenna, who has reached the semis four times but never the final as yet.

The talent pool is growing stronger every year, and at the latest edition earlier this month, the first ever to be held out in China, she could only reach the last-16 before being knocked out by Nutcharut.

Her Thai rival reached the final, only to lose a thrilling showpiece 6-5 to home favourite Bai Yulu.

Keighley ace Kenna said: “Since I played my first Worlds in 2016, the competition has just grown bigger and bigger.

“Now we’re playing it over in Asia and I think it’ll really start thriving in China now we’ve taken it there.

“We’ve all known about Bai and how good she is for years, but I think we’re seeing more Chinese talent coming through now.

“It’s getting a lot harder to win the tournament now as the quality is rising all the time.

“I still usually get to the semis, but because I lost one of my group games this year, that left me with a really tough draw against Mink in the last-16.

“She deserved to beat me and she was unlucky not to go all the way in the end.”

Kenna also made a point of thanking her sponsors Keighley Kia and Ox Billiards.