Joe Perry edged by record-breaking Ronnie O’Sullivan in thrilling Dafabet Masters final

Joe Perry. Photo: Tai Chengzhe/World Snooker

Joe Perry. Photo: Tai Chengzhe/World Snooker - Credit: Archant

Joe Perry says reaching his first Dafabet Masters final has given him the taste to go on and challenge for more world titles.

Perry, 42, pocketed £90,000 after coming unstuck to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the tournament’s showpiece at Alexandra Palace last night (January 22).

The Chatteris cueman looked to have continued his fine form in the prestigious competition by storming into a 4-1 lead in the first session, but ‘the Rocket’ replied in style by clinching seven consecutive frames.

Perry turned on the style again and reduced the deficit with excellent breaks of 117 and 92, but O’Sullivan moved to within one frame of a record-breaking seventh Masters title with a century of his own.

‘The Gentleman’ wasn’t finished there, however, and showcased the fighting spirit he had shown so impressively during his semi-final success over Barry Hawkins by racking up a half-century to make it 9-7.

But, after a tactical final frame, O’Sullivan cleared up to claim the title and a cheque for £200,000 – while Perry was left to ponder what could have been in what was his first triple crown final of his 26 year career.

“I’ve proved a lot, that there is still some life left in me,” he told BBC Sport.

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“It has given me the belief to go on and a win a big one.

“At 4-1 up I got a bit carried away and it was not until I was 8-4 down that I thought ‘I’m going for it.’

“It has given me the taste to go for more finals; it’s a great feeling to be involved and you take up snooker for nights like this.

“Fair play to Ronnie – even when he is not as his best he is still amazing.”

And O’Sullivan was quick to praise Perry, who displayed some of the best snooker of his career during the tournament.

He said: “Joe played a brilliant tournament, a really good match and he should’ve beaten me. I got lucky - I stole it.

“Joe will come again and he is a tough competitor. I’m just relieved to have got over the line.

“The fans have been unbelievable and I really enjoyed this week.”


Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) 10-7 Joe Perry (Eng)

First session: 24-79 (72), 16-101 (53), 86-27 (59), 31-90 (74), 0-115 (115), 67-40, 61-21, 81-23 (55)

Second session: 51-14, 124-4 (68 & 56), 67-12, 108-15 (85), 1-117 (117), 1-92 (92), 130-0 (112), 1-106 (53), 59-39