MARK Williams, Lee Walker and Jackson Page can join fellow Gwent cueman Jak Jones in round two of the Betway UK Championship with wins at the York Barbican today, writes Luke Baker.

And there’s no doubting who out of twice world champion Williams, former Crucible quarter-finalist Walker and teenage rookie Page has the toughest assignment.

The 16-year-old from Ebbw Vale faces Ronnie O’Sullivan, a winner of the event, and the world championship, on five previous occasions, in the evening session.

O’Sullivan is such a big

favourite for the match that some bookmakers have made the Englishman 100-1 on to dispatch the Welshman.

Gwent could have three men in the second round by the time Page takes to the baize, with Cwm ace Williams facing Paul Davison this morning and Newbridge’s Walker tackling Chris Wakelin this afternoon.

While Newport’s Ian Preece bowed out at the first hurdle on Tuesday, Jones, from Cwmbran, was relieved to come through a late-night marathon and break his UK Championship duck.

Jones had suffered three consecutive first-round exits but finally registered a long-awaited victory by beating David Grace 6-4.

He led 4-1 before Grace fought back to level, but Jones then earned the two snookers he required to pinch frame nine on a re-spotted black.

The 24-year-old battled through the 10th to triumph at 1.30am yesterday morning.

“I feel really happy to have won,” said Jones. “I was 4-1 up, felt really comfortable and then started to feel a little bit tired – I started to slow down and overthink stuff.

“I started to feel good again at 4-4 and I don’t know if that’s the pressure changing.

“I won an unbelievable ninth frame – I needed two snookers to go 5-4 up – and then a really close last frame as well.

“I’ve had so many of those matches over the last couple of years and been coming out on the wrong side of them most of the time, so I’m probably due to win a few!”

Preece slipped to a 6-2 loss at the hands of China’s Yu De Lu.

n Watch live coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.