FOR a man used to regular victories over the course of a 20-year career, it has been a tough couple of weeks for Keighley potter Chris Melling.

The pool superstar was playing in a World Rules tournament in Blackpool for the first time in years, and while he put in a decent performance, he couldn’t get beyond the last 32.

He eventually bowed out to John McAllister in an exciting contest 7-5 in a thriller, but it could have been so much different.

Melling himself admitted to the Keighley News: “I played more or less perfect and was 4-1 up.

“But I didn’t get a ball on the break off at all, apart from one where I cleared, and that cost me the match basically.”

He then went off to the Ultimate Pool Pairs Cup event this Monday, but he and partner Scott Gillespie, the reigning European and World Blackball Champion, were left stunned by underdog pair Scott Crawley and Tony Blount.

The Crewe-based duo came into the night as arguably the outsiders, but they upset the odds by winning all three of their matches to book a spot in the last 16 of the competition.

Melling and Gillespie started well with a victory over Cumbrian pair Kevin Kirkham and Rob Sim.

But they were stunned by Crawley and Blount, who crushed them 4-1, before drawing their last match 2-2 with Jake-Dylan Newlove and Toby Bolt.

Melling is back in action this Friday on the World Rules pool tour in Daventry, then he goes to Stoke the following Friday for the Ultimate Pool Pro series event 5 and 6.

He is back in Daventry at the end of the month for another World Rules pool tour event.