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  Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Swail bows out
Joe Perry and Joe Swail eye the table during their match
The tension shows for Joe Perry and Joe Swail
Northern Ireland's Joe Swail's hopes of another good run at the Crucible are at an end after a 10-6 defeat by Joe Perry.

Swail, a semi-finalist in both 2000 and 2001 was in a good position, leading 5-4 after a hard-fought opening session on Saturday night.

But he failed to capitalise on his advantage as Perry came out with all guns blazing.

The Cambridgeshire player, ranked 27 in the world, stormed back with breaks of 78, 66, 82 and 72 to pull ahead.

I know I can compete with the best players now
Joe Perry

Swail was not able to recover and Perry, a recent finalist in the European Open in Malta, wrapped up the match.

"I'm well pleased with my performance," said the 26-year-old from Chatteris, who reached the last 16 three years ago.

"I played really well last night when I out-scored Joe and just needed to keep my composure today."

Perry, who will play either Peter Ebdon or Michael Judge in the second round, is now assured of a top 16 place next season.

His ranking points were already swelled by reaching the final of the European Open, where he was beaten by Stephen Hendry.

And victory over Swail ensures he will not have to qualify for any of the major tournaments next season.

I made so many mistakes and got punished for them
Joe Swail

"I wasn't really worried about making the top 16 and I think that showed in my relaxed performance," he added.

"I've been playing well all season but the boost of getting to the final in Malta gave me the extra lift I needed. After that I felt that I could beat any of the top players.

Swail, the world number ten, admitted he had no answer to the form Perry produced.

"I always tend to struggle in the first round here and usually I manage to get over it, but not this time," said the 32-year-old.

"I prepared well, practising for nine hours a day, and it's very frustrating."


J Swail (NIre) 6-10 J Perry (Eng)
67-29, 34-91 (50), 37-67, 87-6, 83-29, 0-138 (134), 71-22, 77-25 (53), 18-100 (100), 21-93 (78), 24-72, 14-88 (66) 41-64, 86-37 (82), 24-79 (72), 0-71

Stephen Watson reports
"Joe had very high hopes for this tournament"
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