FIVE Gwent cuemen will be trying their best to end the 21-year wait for a home winner at the ManBetX Welsh Open, which starts in Cardiff next Monday.

Cwm’s two-time champion Mark Williams was the last player from the principality to lift the trophy way back in 1999, the first year after the event had moved from Newport to the capital.

The 44-year-old left-hander starts his quest for a third title against Oliver Lines on the opening afternoon of the Motorpoint Arena tournament.

Newbridge duo Lee Walker and amateur Darren Morgan are also in action on day one.

Walker, 43, faces John Astley in the morning, while former pro Morgan, 53, takes on fellow wildcard Gavin Lewis, from Neath, in a preliminary round encounter.

The winner of that tie will go up against former world champion Shaun Murphy in the first round proper the following day.

Tuesday also sees Ebbw Vale 18-year-old Jackson Page and Cwmbran potter Jak Jones begin their campaigns.

Page rose to prominence at the 2017 tournament when, at the age of 15, he beat Jason Weston and Astley to reach the third round, before losing to Judd Trump.

This year, the teenager meets world number eight Kyren Wilson, a winner of three ranking events.

Meanwhile, Jones, who enjoyed his best run at the Welsh Open last year, plays Robert Milkins.

Aussie Neil Robertson won the title for the second time in 2019 by beating Stuart Bingham 9-7 in the final.

He starts the defence of his crown against Jamie Clarke, one of 14 Welsh players in the field.

Four-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan faces China’s Zhang Jiankang, while reigning world champion and world number one Judd Trump takes on James Cahill.

In all there are 129 players battling for the Ray Reardon Trophy at the fourth and last Home Nations event of the season.