Maplin Electronics UK Championship 2008: Flawless Perry sends O’Sullivan crashing out

Today’s second batch of last 16 matches saw Joe Perry cause something of a sensation by knocking out defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan tonight. Click to read about that and all of tonight’s other matches.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-9 Joe Perry

Joe Perry recorded one of the best wins of his career tonight to finally end his jinx against Ronnie O’Sullivan in ranking events, knocking out the defending champion and world number one with a terrific performance this evening.

Having withstood a barrage of centuries last night, Joe did very well to snatch the eighth frame and perhaps it is this one that proved to be the most important in the match as he started tonight just about in touch at 5-3 down.

After a long safety exchange tonight, Joe managed to take the opener before a superb clearance of 105 in the next brought him level at 5-5. O’Sullivan was beginning to look frustrated in his chair, though when Perry missed a long red down into the bottom left pocket, he was presented with a great chance to move back in front. Unfortunately for him it just wasn’t there and a missed red to the green pocket on 20 let Joe in who made no mistake with another big break.

Things went from bad to worse in the next as having seen Joe run out of position when on another break, O’Sullivan missed again and seeing that he had left him an easy starter to the left centre, conceded the frame with nine reds remaining and marched out of the arena 7-5 down.

Having received a warning at the interval from referee Alan Chamberlain, O’Sullivan looked to fight back after the interval but again it just wasn’t happening and Joe took full advantage. While Ronnie didn’t play as well as last night, it must be said that Joe was outstanding, and never better than in the 69 break which moved the scoreline to 8-5. He looked to have run out of position at 42-0 but a sublime cut-back black kept the break alive, a brilliant shot when considering the pressure involved.

Again it was Joe who had the first chance in frame 14 but having done all the hard work, he ‘twitched’ on a relatively easy red as Willie Thorne put it, and gave O’Sullivan a chance to start a fight-back. Summing up the evening though, he couldn’t take it and his demeanour suggested that he could not get out of there quick enough.

After being drawn with O’Sullivan in three rankings events so far this season, as well as in the Masters and the Premier League semi-final, Joe has been really unlucky and his results don’t reflect how well he has played so far this season for me. As a result I am really delighted for him to win a big match like this, and not just win it, but play so well in doing it and move past the last 16 for the first time all season. Hopefully he can reproduce the form in the next round when he meets former Grand Prix winner Marco Fu.

O’Sullivan just didn’t look right tonight, but a lot of it probably was because of how Perry played. It is always disappointing to see someone concede a frame so early and he was rightly warned at the interval, but it probably didn’t have too much of a bearing on the match and summed up his night.

Marco Fu 9-5 Matthew Stevens

Marco Fu reached his first quarter-final of the season tonight with an impressive win over the in-form Matthew Stevens.

Having finished with a century last night to move 5-3 ahead, Marco picked up where he left off in tonight’s session with a nice break of 138, before adding a 65 to increase his lead further. Though Matthew hung in there and took a couple of frames to give himself a slim chance, Fu was just playing too well and helped by another good break of 74, eased to a strong 9-5 victory.

It has been a pretty low key start to the season for Marco but in defeating Barry Hawkins and Matthew Stevens this week he has really got his campaign up and running now. His match against Joe Perry in the next round promises to be an interesting affair now which could genuinely go either way.

Given Matthew’s form recently I probably expected him to come through this one so he will be disappointed to lose, though with another few matches won in a big event, he has at least done his chances of returning to the top 16 for next season a fair bit of good. Whether or not he will get the Masters wildcard though is perhaps slightly doubtful as I think he probably needed a better run here, but we shall see…

Mark Williams 9-7 Graeme Dott

Mark Williams won the clash of the former UK Champions tonight to move into the quarter-finals of an event for the first time since the Shanghai Masters earlier this season.

Like yesterday it was an intriguing match, if not the best quality as Mark started off by winning three of the first four frames to level it up at 6-6 at the interval. Every frame seemed to be close and come down to the colours, but it was Mark who managed the steal the majority of them and this continued right until the very end.

At 8-7 a 57 break from Mark proved to be enough and he now meets the winner of the tie between Ali Carter and Peter Ebdon, an intriguing match either way. Good to see both of these guys back playing well again, hopefully it will continue because they are still at an age where they should be competing at or near the top of the game.

Stephen Lee 9-5 Mark King

Another man enjoying a resurgence is Stephen Lee who from 4-4 with Mark King overnight, surged to a 9-5 win today to book a spot in the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time since the Welsh Open.

Mark actually took the opener tonight but breaks of 99, 120, 62 and 83 saw Lee soar into the next round and a tie with either Shaun Murphy or Mark Allen. Good to see Stephen doing well again because he was in real danger of dropping out of the top 32 next season and to see someone with his talent slipping that low would be a genuine shame. Hopefully he can turn things around and push for a return to the top 16 now.


Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-9 Joe Perry 19-113(79), 59(54)-72(47), 127(127)-0, 95(95)-0, 62(49)-10, 143(143)-0, 114(114)-25, 38-72(54), 53-62, 0-124(105), 20-70, 0-23(conceded 9 reds on), 0-69(69), 41(41)-66(53)
Marco Fu 9-5 Matthew Stevens 4-78, 118(118)-4, 0-79(79), 70(66)-44, 26-55, 63-55, 112(43,56)-9,  116(116)-9, 138(138)-0, 80(65)-16, 41-63, 81)74)-26, 1-69, 58-2
Graeme Dott 7-9 Mark Williams 83(40)-1, 6-97(85), 1-64(53), 67(41)-55, 56(41)-1, 44(43)-63, 55-7, 65(57)-34, 80-11, 16-67, 13-74(56), 32-72, 68-40, 52(44)-73, 22-101(86), 34-67(59)
Mark King 5-9 Stephen Lee 76(42)-1, 78(43)-33, 0-136(136), 0-80(53), 79(75)-0, 85(80)-5, 24-61(59), 13-77, 69-33, 42-65, 0-99(99), 6-120(120), 58-71(62), 16-84(83)