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Mark Williams reveals food poisoning battle after UK Championship exit

Jonathan Davies in UK Championship

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Williams struggled through his clash with Clarke (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark Williams revealed he was suffering from food poisoning following his UK Championship exit at the hands of compatriot Jamie Clarke.

The two-time champion was visibly uncomfortable as he went down 6-3 in the all-Welsh battle at the York Barbican.

Williams quickly dashed from the arena shortly after the match commenced, and frequently followed suit in between frames before becoming the sixth seed to fall at the first hurdle at this year’s tournament.

The world number six also suffered from ill health in York 12 months ago, appearing to fall asleep in his chair during his defeat by Anthony Hamilton following a battle with COVID-19.

“I’ve felt better playing a snooker match; I’ve got to be honest,” Williams told Eurosport.

“It must be [food poisoning], I’m hanging. I went out there with a pair of boxers on and by frame three, they were gone! If it wasn’t the UK Championship, I’m not even sure I’d have come back out after the interval.

“It’s a bit disappointed for myself because I’ve been practising hard and hitting the ball really well. But when you go out there and you’re shaking like a leaf all over your body, you’ve got no chance. I tried, but just no chance.

“But let’s not take anything away from Jamie, he played quite well and deserved to win.”

Williams opened with a run of 70, but his opponent snatched the second frame on the black despite needing a snooker.

The next four frames were shared with Clarke also winning the fourth on the black, before claiming the next two with a run of 56 along the way.

The world number 49 is enjoying his best-ever run at the UK Championship, having never previously progressed beyond the last 64, and he ensured the streak will continue after a neat 64 clearance sealed the victory.

“He’s an all-time great and a hero of mine growing up,” Clarke said. “I was a bit nervous before the match started, but that second frame seemed to settle me down quite well.

“I really wanted to go out there and try and assert my presence. In the past, I’ve been like a shrinking violet out there, but I’m really chuffed I stood up.”

Stuart Bingham was the other winner of day three, with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Zhou Yuelong also prevailing earlier on.

The former World and Masters champion was a 6-2 victor over Liam Highfield, with runs of 61,58, 56 and 54 along the way.

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UK Championship 2022 Day Three Results

Monday November 14

Last 32

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 Matthew Stevens
Yan Bingtao 5-6 Zhou Yuelong
Mark Williams 3-6 Jamie Clarke
Stuart Bingham 6-2 Liam Highfield

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