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Gary Wilson wins Welsh Open title after denying Martin O’Donnell

Jonathan Davies in Welsh Open

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Gary Wilson v Martin O’Donnell live stream | Welsh Open 2024 Final preview

Wilson captured his third ranking title on Sunday

Gary Wilson won his first Welsh Open title following a commanding 9-4 victory over Martin O’Donnell in the final on Sunday.

The Tyneside Terror claimed the third ranking silverware of his career – adding to his two Scottish Open triumphs – to lift the Ray Reardon trophy at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

Wilson landed the top prize of £80,000 to cap a memorable week – during which he made a magnificent maximum break in his semi-final victory over John Higgins, while also winning 14 successive frames.

Climbing to a career high of 12th in the world rankings, he becomes the fifth player to win a hat-trick of Home Nations titles after Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Mark Allen.

“What a mad few months I’ve had!” he said. “Having won the Scottish Open [in December], I feel like I belong in these situations, but I never really expected another [title] to come so soon.

“Even though it was a scrappy game – it wasn’t the best standard tonight – you’ve just got to battle on because you never know what’s going to happen.

“I started off okay, I felt decent early on. I just lost my cue action completely in the last few frames, I don’t know why. But you go through ups and downs all the time, I’m just happy to get over the line.”

Wilson was aiming to become only the second player after Trump to win successive Home Nations events.

He made a strong start as he capitalised with 98 following a missed red from O’Donnell, who was appearing in the first ranking final of his career, while further runs of 52 and 55 moved him 4-0 ahead at the interval.

The world number 76 stopped the rot with breaks of 66 and 92 along the way as the next four frames were shared, leaving Wilson 6-2 to the good heading into the evening’s conclusion.

After O’Donnell won a lengthy ninth frame, the Tyneside Terror responded with 100 for the only century of the final.

Although the Londoner hit back with 85, Wilson took a close 12th frame to move one from victory, which he subsequently secured in the next.

“Gary’s class, he’s won a few ranking events now,” O’Donnell said.

“I’ve played some great snooker this week – some of my best – so to play like that and not really make it difficult for him was disappointing. He had plenty in the tank. Even if I came back, he could’ve gone through the gears.

“I felt all right at the start. It was only when I started missing so many easy balls that it got tense.

“I’ll learn from today. There are good things coming for me, so I’ll keep my chin up and hopefully be better next time.”