BLACKWOOD’S Andrew Pagett will face defending champion Stephen Maguire on Wednesday in the Welsh Open after a superb fightback saw him reach the third round.
Pagett was the standout performer on a terrific day for Welsh snooker with Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens also booking their safe passage into the final 32 in the last Welsh Open to be staged at the Newport Centre.
The qualifier looked to be headed for the exit door as he trailed 3-2 to Gerard Greene, but he fought back and won the deciding frame with a top run of 50.
Pagett will now face reigning champion Maguire and isn’t in the least bit intimidated.
"I'm not bothered who I play really,” he told World Snooker.
“I'm just enjoying going out there in front of the home crowd and getting a couple of wins under my belt.
“It is just another game to me, I will just play my own game and if it works it does but if not then that's that," said Pagett.
Home favourite Matthew Stevens is also through after a 4-2 victory over Ian Burns, including breaks of 60 and 61. "At 2-1 down and around 50 behind I thought I was a million to one to win the match 4-2, but I managed to pull off two good clearances," said the Carmarthen man.
"It is amazing what making a clearance can do to your head. The number of Welsh players here does give you a lift but I have always struggled here and it is about time I had a good run. I haven't come here with the most confidence which makes it extra hard, but the home fans do definitely give me a boost."
Welshman Dominic Dale also reached the third round by virtue of winning on Monday and he’s now set for a showdown with Mark Selby.
And former World Championship finalist Selby is expecting a tough test.
"Dominic Dale has been a tough player for years, he has won two ranking events which shows what kind of player he is. It will be tough because he can play and is a bit daft at the same time so you have to try and overcome two things."
Hong Kong star Marco Fu chalked up an impressive 4-1 victory over Kurt Maflin with breaks of 65, 81, 90 and 62 while Joe Perry strolled to a 4-0 win over Liu Chang with top runs of 115 and 77.
However, Neath’s Michael White was cruelly edged out 4-3 by Xiao Guodong.
In the marquee match-up of the evening, John Higgins blew away Ken Doherty in the battle between two former world champions, Higgins winning 4-0.