Parrott falls to impressive Lawler

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There was a surprise victory for Rod Lawler yesterday in the Embassy World Championship, as he beat John Parrott 10-6 to earn a second-round match against Dave Harold. Parrott became the second top-16 seed out of the first round following Gary Wilkinson's 10-9 defeat of David Roe.

"This has got to be the best result of my career," said Lawler, currently the world No 40. "John said some very complimentary things about the way I played and that was very sporting of him."

This was the first time in 13 visits to The Crucible that Parrott had failed to clear the opening hurdle. "I've no complaints," he said. "After all, I've scraped a few 10-9s in my time. From 7-6 to 10-6 that's the best I've ever seen Rod play. He's a hard competitor and if there's 40 or 50 to be had, he'll get them. Now it will be interesting to see just how far he can go."

Parrott began the day 6-3 down, but seemed well on course to end Lawler's challenge when the match resumed. In 46 minutes, he compiled breaks of 99, 60 and 87 to tie the scores at 6-6. However, the 13th frame proved to be unlucky for Parrott, for he went in off the final brown and Lawler cleared brown to pink to regain the advantage.

Lawler's victory means he will have to cancel an invitation to play in Pakistan later this week to prepare for his best-of-25 frames match with Harold.

A winner of minor tour events in Finland and China this year, the 24- year-old Lawler said: "John is one of the players I looked up to when I first started out. I'm really proud of the way I played. The game is so competitive now that you can go out of three or four tournaments without even noticing."

Results, Sporting Digest, page 25