Joe Perry won the second ranking title of his careeer yesterday evening beating Judd Trump by 9-5 to lift the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Congratulations Joe Perry !
Perry Secures Glory In Wales
After 30 years on the World Snooker Tour, Joe Perry enjoyed what he described as the best moment of his career, by defeating Judd Trump 9-5 in the final of the BetVictor Welsh Open.
It’s Perry’s first ranking win on UK soil and only the second of his career, having appeared in six finals. The Gentleman landed his first ranking title in Thailand back in 2015, when he rallied from 3-0 down to beat Mark Williams 4-3 in the Players Championship final.
On that occasion there were no family were present for his moment of glory. This evening his parents, Peter and Judy, watched on proudly from the crowd as their son lifted the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Perry negotiated a perilous path to this week’s final, beating an all-star cast of players throughout the event. He defeated David Gilbert, Cao Yupeng, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, Ricky Walden and Jack Lisowski en route to today’s showpiece clash with 2019 World Champion Trump.
Until this tournament, 47-year-old Perry had endured one of his worst ever seasons. A slump in form saw him drop to 42nd in the world rankings and he had only previously reached the last 32 of one event during the campaign. Today’s win moves Perry back up the rankings to 23rd.
The £70,000 top prize also takes Perry into contention for the BetVictor European Series bonus. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the qualifying events will claim a bumper payout of £150,000. The only event remaining comes later this month at the BetVictor Gibraltar Open.
Perry climbs to 10th position in the series standings with £77,000, while John Higgins and Mark Allen remain tied at the top on £98,000. There is a £50,000 top prize on offer in Gibraltar, meaning it remains all to play for with 12 players still in the hunt.
Trump’s quest for a first ranking event win since the 2021 Gibraltar Open goes on. The Ace in the Pack won the invitational Champion of Champions before Christmas, but has struggled to find his best form in ranking competitions. In stark contrast, he racked up 11 ranking wins across the previous two campaigns.
The players came into this evening locked together at 4-4, after a tightly contested afternoon session left proceedings finely poised.
Perry got off to a superb start tonight, with a fine break of 108 to take the lead. Trump drew level at 5-5 by claiming a 28-minute tenth frame, but it would prove to be his last of the evening.
Perry turned up the heat, as he calmly set about a dash to the finish line. Breaks of 51, 66 and 68 helped him to three on the bounce, which moved him just a frame from victory at 8-5. He then fired in a nerveless 70 to leave Trump requiring snookers. He did get one, but it was in vain when Perry hammered home a long range green to wrap up a dream win.
“I can’t believe it. This is the absolute highlight of my career by a country mile. I actually thought it was coming to an end, now I’ve had the best moment of my snooker career. To do it against a great champion like Judd is the icing on the cake,” said an elated Perry.
“My mum and dad have supported me since I was ten years old. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been a snooker player. I’ve won a tournament before, but nobody was there. I know they are proud of me, but this is amazing.
“I’ve said many times this week that I genuinely thought my days of winning tournaments were behind me. One win in 30 years doesn’t fill you with confidence to go and win any more at my age. Whatever happens from here on in, I have this to remember.
“Belief is the one thing I’ve not had all of my career. Maybe it is because I am a realist and that I need proof that I am a great player, rather than people telling me. I need to take the belief and the confidence I’ve got from winning in a proper arena, on a proper stage, against proper players.”
Trump said: “Joe put me under pressure from the start. He potted some cracking long balls, scored the heavier and at the crucial times he was potting the crucial balls. It was a little bit of an off day for me but Joe was the best player of the whole week and thoroughly deserved the win.”
I’m absolutely delighted for Joe, and I’m far from being the only one. The whole social media world seemed to celebrate his win yesterday evening.
One person in particular was over the moon … Neil Robertson:
When Neil arrived in the UK, a penniless teenager, Joe helped him massively. Neil went on to achieve much more that Joe in the game but he never fails to mention how much he owes to Joe. I remember him being in tears whilst potting the last balls to win the 2014 Wuxi Classic; his opponent was Joe, the match went to a decider, Neil badly wanted Joe to win but he had a job to do, he had to try his hardest to win no matter the circumstances.
Joe loves his snooker and he has supported the pro-am circuit and the women’s game throughout his career. He never hesitated to travel if an event was available, be it in mainland Europe or in Asia. The Women’s World Championship used to have a Double-Mixed Championship as a side event, and Joe played in that one no less than six times, winning it four times, once with Leah Willett and three times with Tatjana Vasiljeva from Latvia.
The Home Nations may not be the most prestigious series of events but it has brought some of the great moments in snooker. Yesterday was reminiscent of Mark King’s Northern Ireland Open triumph and Antony Hamilton German Master’s victory.
And this concludes the Home Nations for this season…