Joe Perry knows he’ll have to stay fully focussed in every frame if he wants to go far in the Betway UK Championship.
The 43-year-old looked to be cruising into the last 32 as he blitzed his way into a 3-0 lead against Jack Lisowski last night (December 2).
But he saw his three-frame advantage disintegrate in front of his eyes as the 26-year-old conjured three half-century breaks to level things up.
Yet the Chatteris potter was able to regain his composure and a break of 68 in the eighth frame helped him to a 6-3 victory at the Barbican, in York.
“It was a strange one,” Perry pondered. “I was 3-0 up but I didn’t feel good at all. He then came back into it. He’s such a great player and so fluent with his play.
“After he made it 3-3 it really focussed me, I had been a bit flat. I played solid from 3-3 onwards.
“Jack has had a good season, he’s so dangerous. The way he strikes the ball, he has so much cue power. He’s great to watch and the fans will love him if he can go far in tournaments.”
The business end of the competition is fast approaching and things aren’t getting any easier for Perry, who faces Norwegian Kurt Maflin for a place in the last 16.
Maflin, who is ranked 44th in the world, reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters last month and Perry believes he’s an underrated talent.
He said: “It’s another tough one. Kurt’s a similar sort of player to Jack Lisowski. He’s an all-out attack player and a heavy scorer. I’m going have to be solid again.
“I can’t give him easy chances. I’ve got to be in control of the match. It will be tough; Kurt has really come into form and made some big breaks. It’s the last 32 so you have to perform.
“He’s underrated. In this game you have to perform to be warranted as a good player. For one reason or another, he hasn’t quite done that yet. We all know how dangerous he is.”
Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds