Mark Williams And Jamie Clarke Set For All-Welsh Clash


Former two-time champion Mark Williams was far from satisfied with his own performance but still did enough to see off Fan Zhengyi 6-4 in the opening round of the UK Championship.

Williams, whose best break was an 86 to nudge over the line, is keen to avoid the mishaps which hampered his chances of making it a trio of successes in recent years.

In 2021 he fell asleep in his chair as the aftereffects of Covid led to tiredness, while last year he was affected by a stomach upset.

“This tournament hasn’t really been good for me in the last few years,” admitted Wales’ three-time world champion.

“Once, during Covid I fell asleep live on TV, then last year I had to run out every couple of frames,” said the Cwm cueman.

“But I’ll go home in between matches this time and try to change the jinx of the UK.

“The reception was unbelievable, the conditions were perfect – everything was perfect except my play. I was struggling a bit, but I loved it.”

Williams will face an all-Welsh second round match against Jamie Clarke, who hit back from 5-1 down to record a notable win over eighth seed Kyren Wilson, a break of 76 seeing Clarke over the line.


Ruby Evans and Joe Cemlyn-Jones led the way with medals for Wales in a successful foray at the Northern European Championships.

The artistic gymnasts were in Halmstad, Sweden over the weekend and came away with both individual and team medals.

On Saturday, the women’s team of Evans, Poppy-Grace Stickler, Annais Kamanga, Evie Flage-Donovan, along with twin sisters Abigail Roper and Emily Roper retained the title won by Wales last year in the women’s team competition.

Wales bagged gold after putting a total of 198.696 on the scoreboard, to win convincingly over England (189.627) in second and Norway (186.127) in the bronze medal position.

It’s the third time in the last four editions of the Northern Europeans that the women’s team have won gold for Wales.

There was also a brilliant individual all-around gold medal for Great Britain star and Paris Olympics contender Evans, who totalled 50.565 across her four pieces.

On the men’s side, there was a fantastic silver medal in the team competition for Jacob Edwards, Cemlyn-Jones, Josh Cook, Theo-Amari Ochana, Henry Lewis and Elliot Vernon.

Cemlyn-Jones went 78.199 all-around to secure individual bronze with Vernon fifth (76.899).


Cardiff Devils had the perfect response to their Challenge Cup defeat to Guildford Flames – a convincing Elite League 6-0 win at home to Fife Flyers.

“Fife have been a form team, so to win by that margin is very pleasing,” said Devils head coach Peter Russell.

Cole Ully scored a hat-trick and Ben Bowns made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season.

Cole Sanford, Joey Martin and Josh Waller also scored for the Devils.