Blackpool’s Daryl Peach fell agonisingly short for the second successive year in the 12BET World Cup of Pool in London, where his England B team were edged out 9-7 by Austria in the quarter-finals.
The 45-year-old Peach and partner Imran Majid flew the flag bravely in the Sky-televised championship after England A were knocked out by India in the first round.
Peach and Majid followed their 7-0 thrashing of Indonesia on Wednesday by winning Friday’s thrilling battle of Britain against Scotland 7-6 to move into the last eight.
However, in Saturday’s intense heat, the Austrians edged an error-strewn encounter at York Hall, Bethnal Green, were temperatures soared into the 30s.
Peach, the Yorkshire-born longtime Blackpool resident, was a beaten finalist last year partnering Mark Gray but this time just missed out on a place on the final day of the 32-team competition.
The Austians won three frames in a row to lead 6-3 only for England to hit back with four in succession to forge ahead with just two more frames needed.
However, the Austrian pair of Mario He and Albin Ouschan held their nerve to take the next three and seal their semi-final spot against defending champions China.
Peach, a former world nine-ball champion, said: “We knew Albin was struggling and making quite a few mistakes, so although they ran three racks to go 6-3 up we waited for our chance.
“It came and we did everything right up until 7-6 up, but then I missed the four and we didn’t get a shot after that.
“The table is playing well but the heat in the arena is difficult. I wish I had worn a glove – I didn’t because you can’t feel the cue on your hand. Some players like it, some don’t, but it definitely benefits you in this heat.
“I thought we were capable of achieving more and going further, so it is disappointing but that is sport and we will both bounce back.”
The previous match against the Scotland pair of Jayson Shaw and Pat Holtz had swung back and forth, going down to a deciding frame at 6-6.
Majid delivered the perfect break for England, sinking balls and leaving the rest out in the open for victory to be sealed.
Peach said: “It was nerve-wracking and I struggled from the off in that one. Imran held it together for us and I thought he was awesome.”