Joe Perry bowed out of the Betway UK Championship at the third round stage this afternoon (November 29) and admitted the better man won.
The 42-year-old world number nine went out to lower-ranked Welshman Matthew Stevens 6-2 at the York Barbican.
Perry opened up with a stunning 136 break, but after going 2-1 ahead could only sit and watch as the 2003 UK Champion clicked up a gear to take the next five frames on the spin.
“He played better than me to be honest,” said Perry. “That was probably as good as I’ve felt in the entire tournament and I played a bit better today than I have been.
“But from 2-1 up, I don’t think I potted a ball until I was 4-2 down and that was down to Matthew’s good play.
“He knocked a lot of good long reds in and scored off them, but it wasn’t like I missed much today.
“The balls were a little bit cruel at the end when he got away with a couple, but he was the right winner as he played better than me in the middle part of the match, and I didn’t really respond.
“I played better than I had done in my previous two matches by a long shot. If I’m going to be really critical maybe my safety could have been a bit tighter, but he still had to get those long shots in.”
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