DOMINIC Dale became the third Welsh star to taste victory at this year’s Bet Victor Welsh Open as he edged out Antony Parsons 4-3, writes Andrew Penman.
The 42-year-old is in good form after winning the one-frame Snooker Shoot-Out in Blackpool last month and he followed Carmarthen’s Matthew Stevens and Blackwood’s Andrew Pagett on the victory trail at the Newport Centre.
But Dale admits that he is fortunate to still be in his home tournament.
“I was lucky to win that match,” said the bleach blonde veteran.
“I’m playing in my home tournament at a beautiful venue and I don’t live far away in Stroud. I travelled down on the train today and sometimes doing that you’re a bit flat.
“Antony started off like a train but I responded and everything is going well for me at the minute. I’m pretty confident and I’ll be fully focused next week.”
Earlier in the day veteran former world champion Peter Ebdon was beaten 4-0 by Chinese youngster Li Hang but John Higgins, a four-time world champ, breezed past Tony Drago 4-0 in just 67 minutes.
And Mark Allen survived a scare as he battled back from 3-0 down to beat amateur Sydney Wilson 4-3.
The world number seven trailed in the fourth frame but produced a 45 break followed by a 55 and 112 to seal victory.
“I don’t really know what happened, I didn’t really see them first three and half frames coming,” said the Northern Irishman.
“I couldn’t get anything going and could not concentrate; it was probably in the back of my mind that I was playing someone on the amateur scene so should wind and I completely let it get to me.
“He would even say for his standard he didn’t play very well and was 3-0 up, it just shows how poor I was but when my back was against the wall at 3-0 down and behind it took a good clearance which put him under pressure.
“He threw his arm at a few after that and then it was just a matter of being patient.
“I was a lot more patient after that and it was a bad break-off in the last that gave me a chance, I slowed myself down in the last frame because I knew he was feeling it so didn’t want to give him any easy chances.”