Welsh Open: Darren Morgan calls Mark Williams a 'bully' & 'keyboard warrior'

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'The elephant in the room'
Welsh Open on the BBC
Dates: 26 February - 4 March Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Coverage: Live television coverage on BBC Two Wales, BBC Red Button and online

Welsh snooker player Darren Morgan has accused compatriot and two-time world champion Mark Williams of being a "bully" and "keyboard warrior".

Morgan, 51, lost to countryman Rhydian Richards in a pre-qualifier between the two tournament wildcard invites.

Their wildcards came at the expense of 16-year-old Jackson Page, a decision criticised by Williams, 42.

"You can't fault Mark as a player, but he's a total joke," Morgan said. "We've all blocked him on social media."

Williams, who has reached the second round of the tournament, declined to comment when asked by BBC Sport Wales about Morgan's remarks.

However, Williams responded on social media: "I'm a grown man and can take it on the chin or chinssssss. Jealousy is a horrible thing."

He was also asked by a Twitter user who Morgan was.

Williams replied: "I think he was tha fella who used to impersonate a snooker player about 30 years ago."

Page's progress

Page - who reached the last 32 of the tournament last year as a 15-year-old - was eventually given a place after the withdrawal of Joe Swail.

He reached the second round with a 4-3 win over Sean O'Sullivan, and will face defending champion Stuart Bingham next.

Williams criticised the initial decision, and his social media posts - including retweeting posters who insulted Morgan's abilities - have clearly riled his countryman.

One of Mark Williams' tweets
One of Mark Williams' tweets that upset Darren Morgan

Morgan beat Page in the final of the Robert Harrhy Memorial tournament in Cwmbran in January to secure one of two wildcards and an opportunity to pre-qualify.

"I know he's fighting Jackson's corner but he's a total joke," Morgan told BBC Sport Wales. "And it's quite disappointing to us.

"He's saying things, trying to get me chucked out of the event saying Jackson should be in it. At the end of the day, I won a tournament and I'm ranked number one in the men's [Welsh] rankings. It isn't my fault.

"I've been trying to get to this Welsh Open for the last four years.

"So why Mark decided then get on his high horse when I beat Jackson in the final is beyond me really.

"He thinks it's a bit of banter but there's consequences to everything people do and say... but where he thinks it's banter, to a lot of people it's cyber bullying... he is abusing his position.

"He's a bully. He's a keyboard warrior... but he gets away with it."

Williams was asked about Page during Eurosport's coverage of the tournament.

He said: "Jackson is a very good player. I play with him every day in practice.

"He makes breaks for fun... and he's great to watch. I wanted him in the tournament after the exposure that he gave it last year.

"He's number one in the Welsh amateur rankings so he should have been in it, but luckily enough he got in, unfortunately for Joe Swail."

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