THE FIRST MATCH at the 2014 Dafabet Masters was hit by disruptions and distractions in the early stages.

Any World Snooker earpieces sold at £6 a throw on the day, rather than those saved from previous visits, were badly malfunctioning and noise could be heard by Mark Selby and Mark Davis in the arena. And that came after BBC commentator Dennis Taylor’s voice was boomed out to the crowd in error shortly before Selby got his title defence under way.

An emergency operation was mounted with around 600 sets of the faulty equipment sold among the sell-out 1,500 crowd being exchanged for working models after each of the first two frames to huge queues of disgruntled fans. Both frames were won by the Leicester Jester, understandably more relaxed about it all than Davis at that stage.

Throw in a connecting door that kept banging, also clearly audible in the playing auditorium, and there was plenty to keep mildly embarrassed officials charging around the building.