CHRIS Melling is in great form, but he came up just short over the weekend, losing the Ultimate Pool Pro Series Event 3 final.

The Keighley potter was beaten 7-1 by Shane Thompson, who completed a remarkable weekend by winning both of the Pro Series events held down in Stoke.

Melling did less well in Event 4, bowing out at the last-16 stage to Craig Lakin with a 6-3 defeat.

But he was more than happy with what he achieved over the three days, saying: “I’d just got a new cue a couple of weeks ago, but I’d hardly had any practice with it.

“But I’m one of those people who can just pick up a cue and know if I can use it, as it’s almost like another part of your arm.

“So even though I’d had no practice at the venue in Stoke, I’d pretty much driven straight there from Glasgow, I started off playing well straightaway.

“I beat (former World Champion) Carl Morris 7-3 in my opening game, and I also won against Declan Brennan, who beat me in the final of the first Pro Series Event last month.

“I was faultless in that latter game really, and thought I played really well.”

Melling had no answer against the imperious Thompson in the final though, but the Keighley man said: “I had a chance to go 1-0 up, but snookered myself late on.

“I then got it back to 1-1 but the next time I had a chance in a frame I was already 5-1 down.

“I always look at a match and think if I have seven chances in seven frames, I should win it.

“But I probably only had about three all game, so Shane was a deserving winner.

“He’s a very talented player, but he’d not won many big events. It was only a matter of time before he won something like this though.”

In losing 6-3 to Lakin, Melling admitted he only had a handful of chances in that one too, and he said: “I’m really happy with my form and I’m feeling ultra-confident, which I think is important in any sport.

“I’m actually off to play a World Rules pool tournament in Blackpool this weekend, and even though I’ve not played those rules for about 10 years, I’m not concerned.

“At a high level like this, most frames are a case of breaking and clearing up, so the rules you’re playing don’t really matter.

“Odd frames aren’t like that, and I might struggle a bit at first if it gets tactical, but I’ll probably get used to it after a couple of hours.”

Meanwhile, Melling was delighted to hear the news last week that Matchroom have established a UK Open, which kicks off next May.

He said: “It’s massive, because the last big nine-ball event for anyone to enter in the UK really before this year was the World Championship in Cardiff in 2003.

“Matchroom lost the rights around then so the Worlds have been played out in Taiwan and Qatar and places like that.

“Playing abroad is so expensive, so although a lot of talented UK players want to go out there, it’s not always plausible.

“But Matchroom have got the rights back now, so the Worlds are back in the UK, in Milton Keynes, and now we’ve got this new UK Open.

“What Matchroom and their managing director Emily Frazer are doing for the sport, with all the events they’re putting on, is brilliant, and it’s what pool’s needed for a long time.”

Melling may be a big world star, but he has not forgotten his roots.

He said: “I just want to thank my latest sponsor, Unicorn Stairlifts from Keighley.

“They approached me earlier this month and are giving me their backing, so I appreciate the help and support from them.”