GWENT involvement in this year’s Betway UK Championship is over after Mark Williams and Jak Jones both lost their second-round encounters at the York Barbican.

Two-time winner Williams was overpowered by fellow Welshman Michael White, who leading up to the tournament had won just one match all season.

Neath’s White, who beat Fergal O’Brien in round one, was firing on all cylinders against Cwm cueman Williams breaks of 65, 75, 52, 81 and 64.

He surged into a 4-0 lead before three-time world champion Williams stopped the rot by taking a close frame five.

White won the next and although Williams rattled in a century to make it 5-2, the man nicknamed ‘Lightning’ took the eighth frame for a convincing 6-2 victory.

White was considered the hottest young prospect in snooker when he won the Shoot Out and Indian Open in 2015 and then the Paul Hunter Classic in 2017.

But since then he has suffered a brutal loss of confidence and form, dropping to 62nd in the world. The 28-year-old had lost six of his seven matches this season before ousting O’Brien, also 6-2.

“It was a brilliant performance,” said White after sending Williams packing. “I’m excited, chuffed, and relieved. I’m getting back to where I want to be.

“The first round was a bigger match for me in a way because of all the early exits I’ve had. I’ve slipped down the rankings and I need the points now.

“I’ve doubted myself and wondered whether the good days are behind me. When you do poorly in tournaments you start to worry about that.

“I can’t remember the last time I got to a third round – that’s how bad it’s been. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Cwmbran’s Jones went into his clash with Mark Allen having scored two centuries in beating Andrew Higginson 6-4 in the first round.

He made a dreadful start against Northern Ireland’s Allen, losing the opening three frames, before winning the fourth.

Allen reasserted his authority in the next thanks to a stunning break of 141, while he took the sixth to lead 5-1.

All looked lost for Jones, however, he stormed back to clinch the following four frames, with runs of 104 and 80 helping him take the match to a decider.

Sadly, he couldn’t complete what would have been a remarkable turnaround, as Allen’s 64 gave him a 6-5 win.