Perry edged out by cue-snapper O'Sullivan

PUBLISHED: 10:39 12 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:50 02 June 2010

Ronnie O'Sullivan on his way to victory over Joe Perry yesterday

Ronnie O'Sullivan on his way to victory over Joe Perry yesterday

CUE-SNAPPER Ronnie O Sullivan was given a major scare by Chatteris s Joe Perry in The Masters, but edged to a 6-5 victory. The pair clashed in the first round at Wembley yesterday. World No. 1 O Sullivan, playing with a new cue after snapping his old

CUE-SNAPPER Ronnie O'Sullivan was given a major scare by Chatteris's Joe Perry in The Masters, but edged to a 6-5 victory.

The pair clashed in the first round at Wembley yesterday.

World No. 1 O'Sullivan, playing with a new cue after snapping his old model, "for fun", two days prior to the match, was lucky to survive with Perry missing an easy pink when poised to win 6-4.

He is surely the only player who could win a match against a top-class opponent when playing with a cue which he had barely even practised with.

O'Sullivan, who goes through to face Ali Carter or Peter Ebdon on Friday, said: "I'd only played with it for an hour.

"I got (top cue maker) John Parris to send me seven. I don't like the one I used, it needs a few adjustments. There were certain shots I couldn't play so I'm actually quite relieved and surprised to win.

"I snapped my old one on Friday. It's was quite fun doing it, I really went to town. It felt really good. It wasn't easy to snap it, I wish I'd made a video, I'd put it on YouTube."

In front of 2,000 spectators and a live television audience, the first four frames were shared, Perry making breaks of 63 and 85 then O'Sullivan knocking in a 100 in the fourth.

Perry, who has beaten O'Sullivan twice this season including a 9-5 victory in last month's Maplin UK Championship, started frame five with a 63, only for his opponent to clear with 68.

Back came Perry with a 105, but the world champion rolled in a 118 to go 4-3 up.

The next two scrappy frames went the way of Perry and he had the match at his mercy in frame 10, leading 48-25 with the balls well placed.

But he failed to convert a pink off its spot and O'Sullivan produced a cool 40 clearance.

The deciding frame was a tense affair lasting 38 minutes.

O'Sullivan took control with a 42 then edged towards the winning line, helped by two unfortunate in-offs from Perry.

And when O'Sullivan knocked in the final green he boosted his hopes of a fourth Masters title.

Perry said: "It's a shame that I have to take a negative away with me because it was a great game to be involved in. I played some good stuff, it's just a shame that the match will be remembered for the pink.

"I don't freeze against Ronnie any more. I knew that if I played well I could compete against him. I wasn't terribly happy with the way I was playing coming into the tournament, but I played much better than I thought I was going to.

"I don't like to talk about luck, I had my chances and missed them. There's no two ways about it.


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