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Snooker: Ricky Walden loses out to pal Mark Selby again at UK Championships

RICKY Walden crashed out of the UK Championships in Telford against good friend and arch nemesis Mark Selby.

But the Bagillt Bullet could still break into the world top 16 once more after the tournament after the ranking rules changed.

Players at the top have to defend their points as well as earn fresh ones while players like Walden, with no points to defend, get a run at them if they do well.

It is designed to make snooker more exciting and is one of a number of innovations from new head of World Snooker Barry Hearn.

But no innovations could prevent Walden from once more falling in a ranking competition to Selby.

The Jester from Leicester couldn't shake off Walden in the first session as the Flintshire ace, who also owns Q Bar in Chester, kept pace and finished the opening exchanges level at four frames each in the best of 17 match.

But in the second session Selby had just enough to pull away and the match finished 9-6 to the world number nine and two-time Masters snooker champion.

Walden qualified for the UK Championships by beating Liu Chuang in a preliminary round.

In a tough match the pair were level at 4-4 after the first session and in the second Liu took a 7-4 lead before Walden gritted his teeth and battled back to level and eventually win the match 9-8.