Joe Perry came within three pots of ending his 25-year wait for a maximum 147 break before wretched luck saw his dreams cruelly shattered in Belfast last night (November 22).
The Chatteris potter had looked a certainty for personal history when cueing down for the brown, tantalisingly close in his Dafabet Northern Ireland Open second-round clash with Matthew Selt.
But after potting the brown, the cue ball leapt from the cushion and snookered him when trying for position on the blue, a heart-breaking way to end his hopes.
But if that missed opportunity in the first frame took its toll, Perry certainly didn’t show it, romping to a 4-0 win with a second century to add to his earlier 129.
“I feel it would have been a fantastic 147, everything was in position and I was in control throughout. There were no hard shots and it would have been perfect,” he said.
“But I couldn’t blame myself, the cushion has let me down a little bit and it’s not quite got past the pink so I didn’t get that little bit of luck for my first one.
“I was utterly disappointed. One of the things I want to achieve before I stop playing is to get a televised 147 and that was my big chance.
“The fact that I was convinced it wasn’t my fault made it easier for me. If I’d missed the easy brown or the black at the end it would have really hurt.
“But in my own head I’ve done everything right, not played a bad shot and had a rare instance of the table letting me down which doesn’t happen too much these days.”
Form has not always been a friend of Perry this season, not reaching a quarter-final in a ranking event since the season opening Riga Masters.
But tougher tests will definitely come before the week is out, with Selt far from at his best in the Waterfront Hall in the whitewash display.
And with belief slowly coming back, the world No.22 is confident the second half of the season can be in stark contrast to the first.
“Matt left me off with a chance to go 1-1, but in the end I got a chance to clear up to go 2-0 ahead and that was a big moment in hindsight,” Perry added.
“I feel good, it’s nice to be playing better again. I spent three months of the season hitting round corners and not being able to compete, only beating players I should beat.
“I won’t beat myself up if I go out. It’s nice to turn up and believe in myself.”
Perry now meets Xiao Guodong in round three.
Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds