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Page last updated at 23:17 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Williams suffers Welsh Open exit

Venue: The Newport Centre Date 16-22 February Coverage: BBC Two Wales & BBC Sport website

Mark Williams
Williams dropped out of the world's top 16 last year

Former double world champion Mark Williams failed to qualify for the Welsh Open first round after a shock defeat to David Gilbert.

The 33-year-old, provisionally ranked number 12 in the world, was hammered 5-1 by Gilbert in the qualifying round.

World number two Stephen Maguire eased through to the second round after a 5-0 demolition of local boy Ian Preece.

It took the the 27-year-old just one hour and 25 minutes to beat Preece at with a highest break of 78.

Joe Swail edged through to the last 16 with a 5-3 win against fellow Northern Irishman Mark Allen.

Matthew Stevens beat Andy Hicks 5-4 in qualifying to reach the first round.

Welshman Stevens was trailing 4-2 at the interval in his qualifying round against Englishman Hicks but he managed to turn it around to progress to the first round where he will face Ding Junhui.


There were no such problems for Scotsman Maguire who will now face the winner of the game between Stevens and Junhui in the last 16 on Thursday.

Maguire, who along with world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan was the only player to win two rankings tournaments in the 2007-08 season, was unstoppable against Preece.

"I was surprised to win 5-0 and play the way I did," Maguire told

"He had two decent chances in the first two frames but after that I didn't give him a shot."

World number 20 Swail capitalised on a missed black from Allen, who is ranked four places higher, to avoid a deciding ninth frame and will face Shaun Murphy or Barry Pinches in the next round.

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see also
Day aims for Welsh Open success
15 Feb 09 |  Snooker
Welsh Open order of play
13 Feb 09 |  Snooker
Welsh Open draw
13 Feb 09 |  Snooker
White & Davis in Welsh Open bid
10 Feb 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
20 Jan 09 |  Snooker

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