YORK star Ashley Hugill expressed his “pure relief” after securing his first ever win at the York Barbican in the UK Snooker Championship.

World number 81 Hugill sprung an upset to knock out veteran Mark Davis, ranked 48, and seal his first ever victory at the home city event.

Hugill held a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval after half-century breaks of 77, 79 and 63.

Former UK Championship semi-finalist Davis fought back to win the next three frames, knocking in a game-high 98 break in the first of those.

Despite falling behind for the first time, Hugill rallied to prevail as the 6-4 winner and secure a maiden win in a Triple Crown event.

“I’m over the moon to get my first win at the Barbican,” said Hugill. “It was a really high-quality match and we both played well.

“All my friends and family being here supporting me, it’s great to make them feel good with a win.

“That can (bring pressure), but it’s just how you look at it and how you perceive it.

“It definitely can add pressure but it can also add motivation and fire in your belly.

“I’m just delighted to have won, I’m so relieved. I’ve lost a few close matches this season and I was determined that there wasn’t going to be another.”

Speaking about the see-saw match, Hugill added: “At 3-1, I was thinking, ‘If I keep playing like this, I’ll win 6-1’.

“But then he played well to come back and I missed a couple of long shots when I was cueing really well and I thought I would have potted them.

“When I went 4-3 down, I thought it might slip away, but I played some really solid frames to win 6-4.

“I did have that self-belief. But that doubt was in the back of my mind still. I was thinking, ‘You were 3-1 up and playing great and you’ve found a way to be 4-3 down.’

“I was just determined not to lose. At the end, it was pure relief. I didn’t want to have to put my family through a 6-5 loss,” he laughed.

Next up for Hugill is a second round tie on Saturday against Zhou Yuelong, who thrashed Chinese compatriot Chen Zifan 6-1 on Tuesday and reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship last season.

“He’s a great player,” said Hugill. “I’ve not played him before in a tournament, but I must have played him a 100 times in practise.

“I’ve learned a lot from him when we’ve been practising together over the years. He’s a good friend, so I’m really looking forward to that.

“Hopefully it will be in the main arena this time too.”