MARK Williams is out of the ManBetX Welsh Open, ending Gwent’s hopes of a first winner since the Cwm cueman’s last triumph in the tournament nearly 20 years ago.

The 1996 and 1999 champion lost 4-2 to England’s Martin Gould in the third round of the ranking event at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Gould deserved his victory in a high quality match that started with him making a break of 110.

The efficient Gould took frame two as well, this time a 52 getting the 36-year-old over the line.

Left-hander Williams halved the deficit with a run of 88, but Gould’s 68 in the fourth took him one away from a meeting with Barry Hawkins.

A break of 72 from Williams kept the Welshman’s hopes alive, before Gould grabbed a hard-fought sixth frame.

Going out so early will be a big blow for Williams given the form he has shown this season in winning the Northern Ireland Open and German Masters.

He led a charmed life in the previous round on Wednesday night when he fought back from 3-2 down to beat India’s Aditya Mehta.

Carmarthen’s Matthew Stevens remains the sole Welsh player left in the draw and he faces China’s Yan Bingtao this evening.