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After a gap of three years the Winmau World Masters finally returned to the world stage, taking place outside England for the first time. 

In the Mens tournament here would be almost 800 matches played on the first day with 290 players spread over 64 groups at De Bonte Wever in Assen, The Netherlands and as no previous champions had qualified there would be a new name on the trophy at the end of the week. 

Scotland got off to a great start with six players coming through the round-robin groups to progress to the knockout stage. 

Gary Stone and Greg Ritchie made it to the last 32 where they both lost, Stone went out 2-5 against Danny Lauby from the USA while Ritchie was beaten 5-0 by Jelle Klaasen from the Netherlands. 

In the previous round Shaun MacDonald went out 0-5 against the eventual champion, Dutchman Wesley Plaisier and David Kirwan lost 4-5 to Johan Engstrom from Sweden. 

Evander Stevenson and Mark Barilli both lost 3-5 in their opening matches against Alex Bassetti, Italy and Daniel Zygla, Germany, respectively. 

A strong contingent of Scottish Ladies were hoping to do well in the tournament and certainly lived up to the billing as all of them progressed from the round-robin matches to the knockout stage. 

In fact four out of the five qualifiers topped their groups with Lynsey Ward, Lorraine Hyde and Christine Hyde winning all three of their matches. 

Top performer was Ayrshire’s Lorraine Hyde who reached the quarter-finals before going out 3-5 against the eventual runner-up in the event, Almudena Fajardo from Spain, who recently came second at the Europe Cup. 

Sophie McKinlay was contesting two competitions on the day and reached the last 32 of the senior event before losing 3-5 to Mikura Suzuki from Japan. 

Scotland’s three other qualifiers all lost in the last 64, Christine Hyde 4-5 against Canada’s Latressa Skrzyniak, Lynsey Ward 2-5 against Calli West of the USA and Susanna McGimpsey 1-5 against Adriana van Wijgerden-Vermaat from the Netherlands. 

In the Girls World Masters Sophie McKinlay won all three of her qualifying matches before going on to reach the semi-final where she lost out to the new champion, England’s Paige Pauling.  Connie Brown just failed to make it past the round-robin matches. 

In the Boys Masters both Scott Smith and Kyle Davidson were beaten in the group stages. 

England just missed out on a clean sweep of the four titles with the Mens Masters going to  Wesley Plaisier (Netherlands), Beau Greaves (England) took the Ladies title, Luke Littler (England) and Paige Pauling (England) were the Boys and Girls Masters.