REBECCA Kenna was only one black away from qualifying in her group at the inaugural World Snooker Federation mixed gender championships at the Dolmen Hotel in Malta.

The world No 3 women's player from Keighley, who only the week before had reached her third successive Women's World Championship semi-finals at the same venue, lost the deciding frame on a re-spotted black to Sweden's Belan Sharif.

The 29-year-old was one of only five women to play in the tournament, with the winner gaining a two-year card for the main tour, while the four semi-finalists were guaranteed places in the World Championship qualifying at Sheffield's English Institute of Sport next month.

Kenna said: "Although it wasn't realistic for me to win it and gain a tour card, I thought I would enter for the experience.

"I expected not to get too many chances against the top male amateurs, but as it happened I got more than I thought, and was only a re-spotted black away from qualifying from my group."

Kenna lost to Yuttapop Pakpoj (Thailand) and Sherif 3-2, both after leading 2-1, but beat Finland's Osa Oikarinen 3-2 having trailed 2-1 before losing 3-0 to eventual quarter-finalist Kishan Hirani (Wales).

Pakpoj won 87(51)-28, 47-60, 49-60, 93(71)-1, 61-21 against Kenna, while Sharif triumphed 6-76(61), 68-32, 66-73, 53-14, 60-51.

Kenna defeated Oikarinen 51-17, 18-67(52), 31-61, 69-31, 56-15 but was beaten 75-21, 69-48, 79-23 by Hirani.

She tweeted: "I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Malta at the #WSFChampionships I’ll be back next year better and stronger #worldladiessnooker #mixedgender."

Of the other four women in the 90-strong field, only former world champion Reanne Evans qualified for the last 32.

Thailand's Nutcharat Wongharuthai and Waratthanun Sukritthanes and 13-year-old Brazilian Nicolly Christo, all of whom Kenna played in the Women's World Championship, lost in the group stages.

The landmark mixed gender event was won by 18-year-old Luo Honbao from China, who took home 10,000 euros and that precious tour card by beating Poland's Adam Stefanov 6-0 in the final.

Hongbao, Stefanov, former main tour player Kristjan Helgason (Iceland) and Kacper Filipiak (Poland) reached the semi-finals to earn places at the World Championship qualifiers on April 11-18.

Next up for Kenna is the LITEtask Women's Festival of Snooker at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, which is the final WLBS ranking tournament of the season on April 13-16.

She said: "I arrived back from Malta last Friday and won an eight-player tournament at the Menstone Club in Menston at the weekend just to keep my eye in.

"I like to enter small tournaments and pro-ams between events to keep my arm going, and that victory qualified me for the mini-series final on Sunday, April 29."