SNOOKER: Perry posts warning to O'Sullivan

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The Independent Online
JOE PERRY has promised to repay his father's faith and investment by winning the Embassy World Championship, and by sharing his penultimate session with Ronnie O'Sullivan here yesterday, Perry gave himself a chance of fulfilling that pledge.

Perry resumed with a 5-3 deficit against the world No 3. When O'Sullivan snatched the opening frame of the session from 53-0 down with a clearance of 66 then Perry, ranked 74 in the world, must have feared the worst. However, he showed the same composure that enabled him to beat Steve Davis 10-9 in the last 32, refusing to allow O'Sullivan to take charge.

His break of 109 in frame 10 was the highest of the contest so far and ignited a comeback that saw him level at 6-6 by the mid-session interval. "My dad Peter is well chuffed for me," Perry said. "He never wanted or asked for any money off me and the best way I can pay him back is by winning the title."

At 6-6 Perry was poised to take the lead for the first time in a match that had started on Saturday afternoon. Eventually O'Sullivan showed snatches of the form that has him third favourite as he converted a half century to regain the lead and another to restore a two-frames cushion. He might have taken the 15th frame, too, but ran out of position on the blue, clearing up with 53 and Perry potted blue and pink for 8-7.

The final frame of the day was decisive for the 23-year-old underdog. He led 44-0 but missed a difficult blue and O'Sullivan cleared up with 74. That leaves O'Sullivan requiring four of the remaining nine frames to reach the last eight and a match against the 1991 champion, John Parrott.

Stephen Lee produced his finest session since beating Hong Kong's Marco Fu in the Grand Prix final last October as he dominated the start of his second-round game with Alan McManus. The world No 9 from Trowbridge compiled two century breaks in seven frames and almost made it four. It all added up to a 6-2 overnight advantage over the world No 8 from Glasgow, who put out Jimmy White in the last 32.

Lee made 128 in frame three and 104 to finish the session. He reached 87 in the seventh with three reds left and knocked in 89 to win the second, losing frame five on the black. Lee resumes this morning needing seven of the final 17 frames to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time.