Havant teen Jamie Wilson ‘buzzing’ after first ‘proper’ win on the professional snooker circuit

Havant snooker starlet Jamie Wilson hailed a night to remember following his landmark first round victory at the Welsh Open.

By Community Sport Reporter
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 8:36 am
Jamie Wilson came from 1-3 down to beat Duane Jones in the first round of the  Welsh Open at Celtic Manor last night. Pic: Matt Huart (WPBSA).
Jamie Wilson came from 1-3 down to beat Duane Jones in the first round of the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor last night. Pic: Matt Huart (WPBSA).

The 17-year-old came from 3-1 down to beat Duane Jones 4-3 at Celtic Manor, compiling consecutive half-century breaks to seal his maiden win at a Home Nations Series tournament.

The world No.125 enjoyed his first ranking event triumph in the recent Snooker Shootout, overcoming Lukas Kleckers, but admits this success feels much more rewarding.

‘I’m buzzing,’ he said. ‘The Shootout was a win but that’s only one frame.

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‘This is different, this is proper snooker, so I’m over the moon.

‘I went 1-0 up and thought I was looking alright but he made a couple of good clearances to go 3-1 up.

‘At that point, I was thinking ‘not another one’. But I made a 50 from his mistakes and dug deep to get the result.

‘It’s a monkey off the back and hopefully a lot more will come now. I just needed a win to set me off and now I can try and get a few more under my belt.’

Wilson became the youngest qualifier for this season’s tour when he sealed his place aged just 16 last year. And with the exception of the Shootout, this is the first time he has cleared the first hurdle of a tournament.

Though results have not always gone his way, the teenager is soaking up every minute of being on the circuit as he takes on those he has watched on television growing up.

‘I’ve loved it – it has been amazing,’ he said.

‘To be playing the likes of Mark Allen, who I’ve played twice, is a great experience. The pros are all top class and it has been brilliant.

‘I’ve learned which bits of my game need improving. My safety play, which I’ve been working on, cutting out the easy miss to stay focused – there are quite a few things I notice when I watch myself back.

‘But I feel confident going into every match and hopefully now I can kick on.”

Wilson has been able to keep practicing behind closed doors through lockdown in the Waterlooville Sports Bar, which is owned by his parents.

Though neither could be inside Celtic Manor due to current guidelines, Wilson is looking forward to savouring a triumph he knows will mean everything to those around him.

‘My dad’s staying at the hotel with me and I’ll be straight on the phone to my mum – she’s probably in tears,’ he said.

‘It’s a nice moment for the whole family. Obviously, I’d love my parents to come and watch but I’m used to how it is.

‘I don’t know what experiencing crowds is like so until I know that, it won’t bother me too much.

‘This win was definitely due and I’m just so happy to tick it off.’

Wilson takes on world No.15 David Gilbert in the second round tonight.

Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport app.