Joe Perry looks to the future after reaching Dafabet Masters final

PUBLISHED: 06:40 25 January 2017

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Cambridge potter spurred on by performance

Joe Perry was determined to take every positive away from his first Dafabet Masters final despite losing 10-7 to seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan last Sunday.

Perry, who trains in Cambridge at WT’s Sports Bar, had made the perfect start and a century in frame five put him 4-1 up in his bid to lift the Paul Walker Trophy during the afternoon session.

But seven consecutive frames for O’Sullivan turned the match on its head and despite a battling 117 and 92 to reduce the arrears, the Rocket was in command at 8-6.

O’Sullivan countered with a break of 112 of his own to get within one frame of victory which he clinched in the 17th frame for his 17th Major title – but Perry insists he will take huge confidence away from his performance.

“When those things happen, those blips in your form and career you can think about these times,” said the 42-year-old.

“It instils that bit of confidence that you need just to push on and keep putting the practice in and keep working.

“If that’s what’s at the end of it, nights like that and weeks like this it’s worth every minute on the practice table.

“I’ve always said to my friends back home it’s a great tournament to be involved with but I have no real good memories of it and I dread it in a nice way every year because I never perform here.

“Now I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed the Masters.”

Perry made three half-centuries and a century to lead 4-1 but was pegged back to 4-4 by the conclusion of the afternoon session at London’s Alexandra Palace.

But he was unable to stop O’Sullivan taking his third Masters title in the last four years and Perry was gutted to see his opportunity slip by.

“I’m a little bit disappointed. I enjoyed every minute of it but disappointed because I got Ronnie on the day you want to get him on,” he added.

“I missed the boat at 4-1. I didn’t start seeing the winning line but the pressure switched at 4-1 and I didn’t handle it very well.

“I can always hold my head up high, I go through bad spells but I’ll always take with me when I give this game up that I always try my hardest until the very end.”

Neil Robertson had exited the competition in the quarter-finals, also at the hands of O’Sullivan.

The Cambridge-based Australian, who also trains at WT’s, had held a 3-2 lead, but the eventual champion won four frames in a row to seal a 6-3 victory.

*Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport 2, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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