Final Leg Thriller For Priestley

Dennis Priestley 3-2 Keith Rooney (3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-2)
Sky Bet World Grand Prix Second Round

DENNIS PRIESTLEY won a dramatic final leg shoot-out against Keith Rooney to reach the quarter-finals of the Sky Bet World Grand Prix.

Priestley led the Irish qualifier throughout their match until Rooney opened up a 2-1 lead in the final set, capitalising after the Yorkshireman suffered nerves on his doubles.

But the double World Champion showed his class, checking out 105 to level the set before hitting a maximum 180 in the deciding leg before landing double 16 for the match.

"I'm very pleased to get through because it was a hard game," said Priestley, who won the opening set without dropping a leg.

"If I'd played throughout as I did in the first set I could beat any player in the world, but I stuttered a bit.

"I had a terrible last set, but the important thing was that when I got in I scored well."

After failing to make an impact in the first set, Rooney took the second 3-2, including a 100 checkout as his nerves settled.

Priestley began to waver in the third before eventually taking the set 3-2, but Rooney punished his misses in the fourth to take the game into a decider.

The 24-year-old Irishman led 2-1 before Priestley powered to the finish line to end his hopes.

"I've got lots of experience this week and it was a pleasure and joy to play against Dennis, my boyhood hero," said Rooney.

"It's opened my eyes to what I could do if I knuckled down and I'll look forward to the World Championship Qualifiers in December now."

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