IT was a tale of two very different tournaments for Bathurst's Denzel Nicholson in his recent bids at the Under 16s World Snooker Championship and the Club Marconi South Pacific Open.
Nicholson perhaps left his best snooker in Australia when he travelled to take part in August's world champs in Russia but he still came away with one win from his four matches.
The Bathurst player then tested himself against open age opponents at the South Pacific Open last weekend where he picked up his game to reach the third round.
Nicholson said the chance was there to progress from his pool but his game just wasn't on point on the Russian tables.
"I didn't play at my best but I was still able to win one game. I probably should have won three of them," he said.
"I won the third match I had. I lost two of the other matches 3-1 and could have won more frames."
He entered the tournament as the best chance of the three Australian competitors to progress, based on previous competition and practice break records (61 and 118 respectively).
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Nicholson went down 3-1 to both Russia's Andrei Karasov (17-69, 47-57, 75-51, 15-67) and eventual semi-finalist Ranveer Duggal of India (35-49, 33-71, 58-43, 17-76) in a tough start to his tournament.
There were better times for Nicholson in a close win over Russian Artem Demyshev (53-47, 52-33, 53-42) and he made a great start in his match against Ireland's Ronan McGuirk before going down 3-1 (63-29, 48-64, 57-60, 39-43).
Nicholson regathered himself for a great run at the South Pacific Open.
He began his tournament in the second round where he overcame Sankar Maharajan 3-1 in a great contest across the final two frames (34-68, 73-32, 49-47, 79-72).
Nicholson's break of 55 took him to a 72-6 opening frame win against Alan McCarthy before his opponent (and eventual semi-final contender) won the remaining frames 59-8, 84-1, 66-18.
"I honestly thought I would lose that first match but I won it 3-1," he said.
"I'd played my first opponent before and he'd beaten me 4-0. I lost to Alan McCarthy but I didn't think I was going to take a frame from him."