by Callum Ellis
AFTER making a maximum 147 break on his first visit to the table, Kyren Wilson beat Jackson Page 4-3 to book his place in the second round of the Welsh Open.
Despite a valiant display from the Welshman, Page bowed out of the tournament in a seven-game thriller at the Motorpoint Arena.
The 18-year-old, born in Ebbw Vale, produced a remarkable turnaround to come from 2-0 down and lead after the fifth frame.
Wilson, however, fought back and secured the final two frames – including a break of 59 in the decider – to set up a second-round meeting with Liam Highfield, who edged past Zhang Anda on Monday.
"Impossible to start better than that!"
Sit back and watch @KyrenWilson's opening-frame 1️⃣4️⃣7️⃣ break
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) February 11, 2020
But it was an opportunity missed for the 97th-ranked Welshman, who was critical of the conditions in the Welsh capital.
“I had a chance at 3-2 but then the game began to drift away from me,” said Page.
“It’s tough. I couldn’t keep the white anywhere and the table was so quick it was unbelievable.
“He looked like he was playing well – and in the first frame he was faultless. But I couldn’t really get used to the conditions.”
Page became the eighth Welshman to exit the tournament after defeats for Gavin Lewis, Lee Walker, Duane Jones, Kishan Hirani, Ryan Day and Michael White.
It was the fifth time this season – including the defeat against Martin O’Donnell in the Scottish Open – that Page has fallen in the deciding frame. And the European Under-21 Championship holder, who departed the Welsh Open at the same stage last year, admitted his frustration.
“I’ve lost a lot of deciders this season against some top players and it’s starting to get on my nerves now!
“I have won a couple of them [deciders] but hopefully I can win a couple more.
“I played rubbish today and was nowhere near how I can play. That’s because the table was so quick, which is a good thing but I couldn’t get used to it.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Jackson’s compatriot Dominic Dale progressed through to the second round with a 4-0 whitewash win over David Lilley.