ASHLEY HUGILL has been knocked out of the Betway UK Snooker Championship following a gripping encounter at the Barbican against Iranian Hossein Vafaei.

The Melbourne cueman lost 6-5 in a pulsating first-round tie, in which Hugill battled back from two frames down to level before losing the decider.

Vafaei will face world number 26 Martin Gould in the next round.

Hugill took an early two-frame lead before Vafaei made it 3-2. The 24-year-old Hugill took the sixth frame to level before falling two behind.

He pulled it back to 5-5 but went down 77-0 in the last frame.