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banner Friday, 24 November, 2000, 23:15 GMT
The seeds of success
John Parrott
Parrott suffering from a barren run at the table
By BBC snooker commentator
Clive Everton

Fergal O'Brien, Dublin's world number nine, playing his first match of the tournament, beat Nick Dyson, the world number 114 from Stockport, playing his sixth, 9-2 to reach his appointed place in the last 16 of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship in Bournemouth.

Tennis and snooker treat their seeds differently. At Wimbledon, even Pet Sampras starts round one. In world ranking snooker events, the top 16 seeds are exempt until the last 32.

Exemption of this nature can be a double-edged sword.

It is pleasant to be guaranteed £4,900 without the inconvenience of winning a match.

On the other hand, a top 16 player losing in the last 32 receives only 60% of the ranking points he would have received if he had won at least one match to get there.

He can feel "less played in" than a player who has survived at least one round although the lesser lights sometimes claim they are mentally exhausted by the time they play a top 16 player.

Parrott's poor run

There were clear signs of that in Dyson's performance but he left the south coast with breaks of 147, 144, and 143 to his credit earlier in the week. Very few players have ever made three 140+ breaks in a single tournament and certainly no-one ranked as low.

Another exempted player, John Parrott, the world number ten, beaten 9-2 by world number 28 Brian Morgan, could clearly do with more match practice. His record for the season reads: Played three, lost three. To put it another way, he has not won a match in April.

"I've no confidence," he admitted. "I'm practising like a Trojan. I made a maximum the day I before I came here. But as soon as I get out there, I start to see nothing but problems.

"I just need to fall over the line against somebody so that I can get a start. I can stand getting beaten, but I can't stand playing to that standard. I wouldn't have beaten anyone in the top 64 the way I played."

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See also:

24 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
Discipline is blueprint for Dyson
23 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
Dyson cleans out White
19 Nov 00 |  UK Championship Snooker
147th heaven for Dyson
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