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  Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Hamilton denies Harold
Dave Harold at the table during his game with Anthony Hamilton
Dave Harold was unable to contain Anthony Hamilton
  Photo gallery: First round action

China Open finalist Anthony Hamilton booked his place in the second round with a 10-6 win over 15th seed Dave Harold.

Hamilton led 5-4 after the first session and extended his lead with a break of 50 before the players shared the next two lengthy frames.


I feel like a good player again
Anthony Hamilton
Harold, who hit two century breaks in the first session, ratled in a break of 74 to make the score 7-6.

But Hamilton was not to be denied and 68, 106 and 67 breaks sealed victory.

"I was a little bit off at the start of the match and Dave could not miss," said a delighted Hamilton.

"I feel like a good player again. It makes getting up for practice in he morning a lot easier," he added.

The world number 15 Harold 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," said 35-year-old Harold.

"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," added Harold.

The result condemns 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.

In the other match of the morning session, Robert Milkins made a great start to his Crucible career against 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 tonight's conclusion.

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 ON THIS STORY
First-round winner Anthony Hamilton
"Dave did not seem to be cueing as well today"
15th Seed Dave Harold
"It all went pear-shaped"
Links to more World Champs 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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