Snooker ace Perry shows experience to produce fine comeback in UK Championship

Snooker ace Joe Perry believes his season is finally taking off after battling from behind to produce a fine comeback in the UK Championship.

The Chatteris potter produced a fine comeback from 5-2 down against Joe O’Connor in Milton Keynes to reach the fourth round of a ranking event for the first time this season.

Perry, ranked 30 places above world number 49 O’Connor, has slumped to early defeats in the English and Northern Ireland Opens but says things are falling into place as he targets a third run to the semi-finals in the Triple Crown event.

“I’ve felt like my game’s been improving tournament after tournament,” he said.

“I’ve gone into the matches with a slightly different and more positive mindset, and maybe it’s a contribution of all things.

“I struggled for a long time there, but I do feel like I’m getting better as each match goes on.

“I thought we both played really well – Joe’s a solid player. I don’t think I made that many mistakes and I couldn’t keep up with him.

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“I was pleased with the way I hung in there when it looked like it was all over. I saved my best stuff until the end of the match, which was always nice.”

Perry, who is over two decades older than O’Connor, showed his experience to claw back to 5-4 after his opponent raced into the lead, before breaks of 71 and 73 hauled him into the last 16.

The 46-year-old then beat Welshman Jamie Jones 6-3 on Wednesday to progress into the last eight, and Perry will hope to ride the same luck he had against his Leicester-based opponent once more.

“When he was clearing up to win 6-3, it didn’t look too good, but when he left himself a tricky one along the cushion and I knew it was missable, as the pockets were playing really tight,” he added.

“Luckily for me it hung on the edge. I feel for him a little bit and he’ll be thinking about that all night – he won’t be able to sleep.

“I know what it’s like to be within a ball of getting through to the next round, and it’s not nice.”

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