World number ten Joe Perry became the second-highest ranked player to be knocked out of the Betway UK Championship as he went down 6-3 against Robbie Williams on Saturday night.
From 3-3, world number 56 Williams won the last three frames with a top break of 76 to reach the last 32 in York.
Perry did not hold back in criticism of what he felt were unnecessarily negative tactics from his opponent.
“It was honestly the most bored I’ve been in a snooker match,” said Perry. “I don’t want to be too disrespectful but what do you get out of playing like that? I was bored after two frames. It’s a massive event and I know he’s trying hard and good luck to him.
“I remember somebody once said watching a game of snooker was like pulling teeth and that was worse. The style and speed of play was a joke. It’s something the game needs to address if we’re going to get new fans and sponsors.
“It’s not about having a shot clock. Players need to change their mentality. You need to go out and try and win rather than try not to lose. I think it’s put my daughter off for life though because she’s probably fast asleep up there.
“It’s just not the way to play snooker. At my time in my career it’s about enjoying snooker and if I have to play like that every time I come out then it won’t be long before I call it a day. I love the game but that’s not fun – it’s just hard work.”
Merseysider Williams responded: “In the first few frames I thought I played quite positive to be honest. I’ve heard from him in the past that he doesn’t like slow or negative play. I wasn’t a bad sportsman, I thought that was the game I needed to play for the win.
“It’s not cheating, it’s matchplay. You want to beat your opponent and you do it anyway you can. I thought I played more positive than I ever have done. That shows you how negative my game is, I suppose.
“It’s probably the best win of my career considering it’s the UK Championship and it’s someone like Joe. It’s definitely given me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Williams will face either Matthew Selt or Sean O’Sullivan in the next round for a place in the last-16.
Shaun Murphy avoided another defeat against a Chinese teenager with a fine display of break-building to beat Zhou Yuelong 6-1.
Earlier this month, Murphy suffered a 4-2 reverse against 15-year-old schoolboy Yan Bingtao at the Champion of Champions. But this time there was no surprise exit for world number four Murphy as he outplayed his 17-year-old opponent. The Nottingham-based cueman goes through to the last 32 in York to meet Ben Woollaston or Ross Muir.
Murphy, the 2008 UK Champion, fired in runs of 63, 124, 100 and 73 to build a 4-0 lead within 54 minutes. Zhou showed his own talent with a 92 to pull one back, but Murphy dominated the next two frames with a top break of 49 to secure his third round place.
“It’s good to build form through a tournament, although when you start as well I have there’s not much room for improvement,” said 33-year-old Murphy. “There are things I can do better but if I keep playing like that I’ll take some stopping. You don’t win a tournament in round two so I need to keep that standard for the next game.
“I knew what my job would be tonight, I felt I’d have to be near my best. Zhou has got an extremely bright future, I think he’s a World Champion in the making.”
Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson saw off Mike Dunn 6-2, winning the last five frames with top breaks of 60, 86, 51 and 88. Wilson potted 11 reds with blacks in the last frame but then missed an easy red when on course for a 147 which would have earned a possible £44,000.
“I’m a bit sick because the balls were well placed,” admitted the Kettering cueman. “But The main thing tonight was to win and I’m pleased with the way i played after the interval. We’re through to the main part of the tournament now and it’s nice to be mixing it with the big boys.”
World number 12 Ricky Walden suffered a 6-5 reverse against China’s Li Hang. Walden led 4-1 but Li won five of the last six frames with a top run of 114. Chester’s Walden said: “I’m embarrassed to play snooker like that and I’m not enjoying it at the moment. It’s the worst I’ve been in my career, the way I’m hitting the ball. I’m losing to average players because I’m an average player myself. I need to make changes.”
Jamie Burnett won a Scottish derby against Alan McManus 6-3 while Joe Swail edged out Adam Duffy 6-5.
Ben Woollaston came from 3-0 down to beat Ross Muir 6-5, his top break 129. David Gilbert beat Gerard Greene 6-5 by taking a 76-minute deciding frame.