SNOOKER: Chatteris cueman sees off a good friend to secure World Championship return

Joe Perry pulled off sensational win tonight against Mark Selby in the World Championship. Photo: Ta

Joe Perry pulled off sensational win tonight against Mark Selby in the World Championship. Photo: Tai Chengzhe/World Snooker - Credit: Archant

Chatteris potter Joe Perry has secured a return to the sport’s biggest stage.

Perry booked his place in the World Championship after coming through the qualifying programme in recent days.

He sealed his passage to The Crucible with a 10-7 victory against close friend Mark Davis earlier today (Wednesday).

Perry led 5-0 and 7-2 but saw his lead slashed before finishing the job with the aid of a 66 break.

It will be the 44 year-old veteran’s 15th appearance in the World Championship and he insists it holds no fears for him.

Perry, who missed out on qualification last year, said: “It’s a hell of a tough week in the qualifiers involving a lot of snooker a long way from home.

“The standard is going up all the time and it is much harder to qualify these days.

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“Myself and Mark are good friends and he put me under pressure.

“On one hand it’s great to have a big lead like 7-2, but you also know that things can only go wrong from there.

“I needed a good start on the second day and didn’t get it. That allowed Mark to put me under pressure and I felt as tense as I have done in a snooker match as I have done for many years.

“I’ve been to The Crucible many times before and I’m not going to be a rabbit in the headlights.

“I’ve had my years of being afraid of playing there. I’ll just play my game and try to show what I can do.

“I’m 44 and you don’t know when your last time will be.”

Perry launched his successful qualifying mission by blitzing Scottish opponent Ross Muir 10-1 in the opening round, racking up six 50-plus breaks in the process.

Perry followed that up with a convincing 10-5 triumph over the legendary Jimmy White – a performance which featured a sparkling 125 break and six other half-century efforts.

And he then saw off Davis to earn his place in the World Championship first-round draw which is made tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The tournament gets underway this Saturday and runs until Monday, May 7.