TEENAGE star Jackson Page has the scalp of defending champion Stuart Bingham in his sights after a dramatic victory over Sean O’Sullivan at the ManBetX Welsh Open.

Page, from Ebbw Vale, wasn’t even in the tournament until last week when he came in as a late replacement for Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail.

But, just like he did as a 15-year-old wildcard 12 months ago, Page enjoyed a first-round triumph in a match that went to a deciding frame.

Page produced a break of 60 to make it 1-1, lost two of the next three to trail 3-2, but came through a gruelling penultimate frame and then held his nerve in the last.

In 2017, amateur ace Page edged out Jason Weston on a re-spotted black to win his first ever match at a ranking tournament.

He went on to beat John Astley in the second round before a 4-0 defeat by Judd Trump saw him bow out in the last 32.

Those performances thrust Page into the spotlight while still a schoolboy studying for his GCSEs.

Having left school and put all his focus on snoo-ker, Page is hoping that the tournament experience he has gained this season will stand him in good stead for the Bingham clash.

“Playing a few tournaments throughout the year sets you up for these nervy experiences and to push through them, and that’s what I did,” he said.

“It’s great playing here and it’s Stuart Bingham next so I could be on the television too.

“I’ve played a few of the big boys and haven’t beaten any of them so I think it’s about time I started to prove my worth and beat one of them.

“The dream is to win the world championship and be world number one. You want to be the best you can be.

“The aim is to beat seven world titles and all the records. Hopefully I can go for them.”

Reflecting on the thrilling encounter with O’Sullivan, he added: “I feel great.

“It was a bit of a struggle towards the end but I was more than happy to come through.

“I had that one chance at the end and I took it, and I’m really pleased to get through.

“I had to call on my safety a bit and he was solid up until the last one or two frames.

“He started off with a great long red in the last frame and hit about 40-odd, and then I started playing a few stupid shots and I thought I was out.

“He missed one and I managed to get back into the frame. There were a few safety shots and then I gave him a chance but he ended up missing the yellow with the rest and I cleared up.”

Page says he has grown in confidence on and off the table since shooting onto the scene at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena last February.

And playing a big part in that has been practising with two-time world champion Mark Williams and another Welshman, Duane Jones.

“It’s great,” he said. “All three of us are in the club every day, it’s winner stays on, and playing with Mark in particular you get to see the shots he can do.

“Duane as well, he’s a professional too, but Mark’s a joke at the moment. A few weeks ago he had five 147s in one week and there were seven in the club, me and Duane had one each – it’s a bit mad.

“We’re all playing alright and hopefully good things will come at this event.”

He added: “My safety has improved by playing with Mark and Duane, and by playing in events like this my break building and positional play has improved as well.

“I’m definitely more confident as a person too. I’m now thinking every ball I play is going in the pocket.”

Meanwhile, Newbridge's Lee Walker fell at the first hurdle following a 4-1 loss to Neath's Daniel Wells.

But Newport's Ian Preece is through after a 4-2 defeat of China's Zhao Xintong.