Snooker: Hamilton revival condemns Harold

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The Independent Online

Anthony Hamilton completed an amazing turnaround in his World Championship first-round match against Dave Harold by storming to a 10-6 victory here yesterday.

The 30-year-old looked unable to get into the contest when he trailed 4-1 in the morning as Harold began confidently. But suddenly the scales tipped as Hamilton reeled off nine of the last 11 frames to secure a meeting with either Mark Williams or John Parrott on Saturday.

It was a result that condemned Harold – who had compiled a 135 to equal the highest break of the tournament so far – to life outside the world's top 16 next season after a disappointing campaign. The world No 15 became the third seed to fall this week and was unable to pinpoint why he had lost his form after appearing to have this match under control.

"In the first few frames I produced some of my best snooker ever," the 35-year-old said. "How Anthony came back to lead 5-4 I'll never know – it was a travesty and he had quite a bit of 'rub'. But I played abysmally today and he finished me off well. If I'd played to 80 per cent of yesterday's standard, I'd have won, but instead I was only at 50 per cent and you can't beat anyone playing like that."

In the other match of the morning session, Robert Milkins made a great start to his Crucible career against the 16th seed Fergal O'Brien. The 26-year-old from Gloucester led 3-0 and could have gone 6-2 up, but he missed a long blue which allowed the Irishman to pull back to 5-4 down ahead of last night's conclusion.