Jackson Page
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Jackson Page: ‘It’s something I’d like to get used to’

Jackson Page produced a brilliant finish to seal victory on his Crucible debut on Sunday.

The Welshman compiled a brace of century breaks to hold off a late rally from the experienced Barry Hawkins and prevail with a 10-7 scoreline.

Page had led 6-3 after a confident opening session in which he tallied a ton and six additional breaks above 50.

But Hawkins responded in the second session, and when he retrieved the deficit to just one frame the former runner-up probably became the new favourite.

Page, however, demonstrated with a final burst why so many people have been excited about his talent for years – clinching glory with runs of 128 and 135.

The 20 year-old, who fought his way through from the first qualifying round at the English Institute of Sport, could be rewarded with a second-round tie against mentor Mark Williams.

The latter was in smashing form as well as he raced 7-2 in front of Michael White after their first session with the aid of a hat-trick of hundred-plus contributions.

“It was absolutely fantastic. A packed crowd, I think it was full,” Jackson Page told the World Snooker Tour in Sheffield.

“To finish off the way I did, to play good all day and yesterday, I can’t really ask for much more than that. Everything has just been fantastic on my debut.”

“I was taking one ball at a time, I was hitting the ball well – I just felt really good. I’ve always been pretty good at it (dealing with pressure).

“It’s not very often I crumble. I’ve always been like Mark (Williams) in a way, I know I keep saying it, but yeah I’m pretty calm.

“It was brilliant, for the walk-on I never felt anything like it. I’ve never been introduced like that before, so it’s something I’d like to get used to.

“I had a tough year last year and didn’t put as much effort in as I should have, as I’ve said in past interviews.

“I really am putting the work in now, so I’m hoping that I reap the rewards.

“It’s going to be fantastic if it is Mark (in the second round), it would be fitting or typical, or however you want to put it. We’ll both really enjoy it, I think.

“I probably didn’t think we’d play each other on a big stage like the Crucible, unless it was maybe the first round or something.

“But I suppose if we both keep winning then we’re going to play each other, so it’s a good thing in a way. Whoever loses will probably be banned from the club for two months.”

Elsewhere on day two, Ronnie O’Sullivan got his 2022 World Championship campaign off to a solid start with a 10-5 triumph over David Gilbert.

The Rocket is bidding for a record-equalling seventh world crown at the Crucible Theatre and had too much for his fellow Englishman.

O’Sullivan will face either Mark Allen or Scott Donaldson in the last 16, with that match set to commence on Monday.

Meanwhile, Stephen Maguire booked his place in the second round for the first time since 2019 with a hard-fought 10-8 triumph against Shaun Murphy.

The Scot looked to have thrown away his chances when he squandered a 6-3 first-session advantage, but he then rallied with three frames at the end to send last year’s runner-up back to the commentary box.

Featured photo credit: WST

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