Maplin Electronics UK Championship: Perry first man into the last 16 as Davis can’t continue

With the afternoon matches now underway, one in particular came to a premature end as Joe Perry booked his place in the last 16 with a win against Mark Davis in no time, click below to read out how, as well as updates on the rest of the matches…

Joe Perry 9-0 (retired at 2-0) Mark Davis

Joe Perry booked his last 16 place early today as his match with Mark Davis ended after just two frames due to Mark feeling unwell. According to the Global Snooker Centre Mark was ill all night and despite a brave effort to come out and play today, felt that he could not continue after losing the first two frames to Joe. After defeating Scott MacKenzie, Ricky Walden and Nigel Bond to qualify for the event, it is such a shame that Mark could not do himself justice today, though at least he has already guaranteed himself a good haul of points from the event.

Joe Perry though has now won his opening match five times out of five this season and will be hoping to go further this week to consolidate a position in the top ten of the provisional rankings. He won’t find it easy however as he looks like facing the man who has beaten him twice in ranking events and last week in the Premier League semi-finals, defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. As he is all set to face him in the opening round of the Masters next month as well, Joe must be cursing the people who make the draws!

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 Rory McLeod

Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan got his UK Championship campaign off to an impressive start this afternoon as he raced into a 6-2 lead against world number 44 Rory McLeod.

Though Rory did not play at all well, in truth O’Sullivan was in ominous form, making a break of over 50 in each of the first six frames, including century breaks of 117 and 110. After the first four frames his pot success stood at an impressive 94%, while poor Rory had only potted 8 balls and had a success rate of only 44%.

Rory’s gameplan appeared to be to keep the match tight, not taking on anything risky and trying to avoid leaving O’Sullivan an easy shot. It did not work at all however and Willie Thorne in commentary highlighted another problem,  Rory’s tendency to cue low on every shot which in turn resulted in the attempted pots being made even harder.

He did at least have a good finish to the session when in frame seven O’Sullivan looked to have half a chance of a 147, before a missed red and an amazing fluke from McLeod led to an eventual century to get his first frame on the board. Getting a terrific cheer from the crowd, Rory celebrated it in style before making another in the final frame of the session to give himself hope at 2-6. With O’Sullivan also missing a red six consecutive times, this led to a slightly odd frame score of 154-0 to McLeod!

Still, he will face an uphill task tonight as O’Sullivan needs just three more frames for the win…

Graeme Dott 5-3 Ken Doherty

Graeme Dott edged the battle of the two out of form players in the first session of his match with Ken Doherty, though a spirited fightback from Ken gave himself hope going into the evening session.

Indeed Graeme actually raced into a 5-0 lead early on, making breaks of 66, 70, 120 and 53 along the way, but Ken, a player renowned for making a comeback or two, took the next three frames with runs of 73 and 74 which really sets things up nicely for tonight. Both players are provisionally ranked outside of the top 32 for next season and so are absolutely desperate for the win, particularly with the additional points on offer this week at the second biggest event of the season…

Ryan Day3-5 Matthew Stevens

The all-Welsh affair between Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens today turned out to be something of a slog as neither player really produced their best and Stevens came out with a 5-3 lead.

It was a strange match actually as Ryan was stringing together the bigger breaks, but it was Matthew who took nearly all of the close frames to secure a lead going into tonight. This is demonstrated by the fact that with Matthew leading 4-1, Ryan had actually scored 304 points to just 278 from Stevens 😀 Still, by taking two of the last three frames Ryan has given himself every chance tonight and with the table well behind schedule, we could be in for a long night…

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 Rory McLeod 97(52)-3, 58(58)-15, 117(117)-0, 67(67)-1, 114(110)-0, 88(88)-0, 25-108(108), 0-154(102)
Ryan Day 3-5 Matthew Stevens 45(45)-71(53), 51-65, 65(65)-1, 42-62, 60-71, 90(88)-8, 18-101(65), 72(42)-30
Joe Perry 9-0 Mark Davis 60-39, 4-0 retired
Graeme Dott 5-3 Ken Doherty 104(66)-14, 73-46(38), 65(63)-21, 120(120)-0, 63(53)-1, 4-88(74), 0-74(73), 2-69(36)