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Allen steps up bid for Welsh Open glory with convincing win

By Paddy Smith

Mark Allen breezed into the last 32 of the Coral Welsh Open in Cardiff last night with a 4-1 victory over World U21 champion Boonyarit Keattikun.

Ulsterman Allen was always in command against Thailand's rising star and his victory sets up a third round clash with China's Mei Xi Wen, who hammered 2002 World champion Peter Ebdon 4-0, the top break an excellent 131.

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a shock 4-3 defeat to Mark Davis.

Lee Walker pulled off a surprise as he came from 3-1 down to beat world number seven Neil Robertson 4-3.

The 2010 World champion and 2016 finalist Robertson made 143 - the highest break of the tournament.

Schoolboy Jackson Page scored another superb win at the £366,000 event, beating John Astley 4-3 to reach the last 32.

Page is playing in a professional tournament for the first time, having been handed a wild card following his victory in the World Under-18 Championship.

And the gifted 15-year-old has seized the opportunity, knocking out two pro players to reach the third round.

Page followed up his 4-3 first round win over Jason Weston by beating world number 78 Astley. He went 3-1 up with a top break of 61, and although Astley fought back to 3-3, Page took the decider with runs of 30 and 42.

"I am over the moon. I played better today. Roll on the next one now," said Page, who is mentored by Mark Williams at his club in Tredegar.

He added: "It's great to be off school - no English or History, I am glad of that! The school have been great, they know I have the potential for a career in snooker and they said that is fine.

"A lot of people have come down to support me, which helps as I was very nervous. It has been unreal.

"In the first game I was nervous, but now I have settled down. I am feeling good, so I hope I can continue to play well."

Belfast Telegraph

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