Dave Harold is a better player than a lot of people realise, as he demonstrated today by beating Stephen Maguire 5-2 at the Northern Ireland Trophy to reach his first ranking event semi-final in five and a half years.

At 41, Harold has bags of experience. He has only one ranking title to his name – the 1993 Asian Open – but the top players regard him as a tough opponent.

Harold is one of snooker’s hard men. You have to scrape him off the table.

He has a deliberate style. His cue action is unorthodox in as much as he doesn’t ‘feather’ the cue ball at all. Instead, he punches at it.

This means that he does not appear as fluent as many players but it has been effective for him and he is more than capable of winning in Belfast this weekend.

Harold is one of only 26 players to have compiled a century of centuries in professional competition.

This is not the mark of an unremitting grinder.

I watched him make three centuries in four frames against Ali Carter at the Championship League last season. It was awesome stuff and he equalled his highest competitive break, 143.

Snooker takes all sorts. Most fans would understandably prefer to watch Ronnie O’Sullivan or the other fast, attacking players.

But the game’s tough guys deserve respect too and they don’t come much tougher than Harold.


Anonymous said...

I watched the Harold-Maguire match up until the mid-session interval, and Dave certainly looked in good nick there.

Speaking of longevity, his semi-final with John Higgins will be a repeat of the Grand Prix final...of 1994.

Not bad when you consider the strength in depth of the tour is perhaps greater than it has ever been. I can certainly think of a few players who could do with Dave's toughness right now.

Sam T

Matt said...

Out of interest Dave have you got the full list of the 26 players to have made 100 centuries?

stuartfanning said...

The truth is that both Eurosport and BBC Snooker commentators, in the past, haven't given Dave Harold much respect. They have to now because of his good performances in Belfast. He is often referred to on TV as a 'journeyman' Snooker player. I suspect he would rightly regard this as a nagative comment about him.

Dave H said...

I've certainly never called him that

Journeymen don't win ranking titles

Dave H said...

Matt: they are - Hendry, O'Sullivan, Higgins, davis, White, Doherty, Ebdon, Parrott, Williams, Hamilton, Stevens, Fu, McManus, Wattana, Lee, Maguire, Thorne, Murphy, Ding, Day, Hunter, Harold, Hull, Morgan, Hicks and Bingham

Matt said...

Thank you very much Dave, always wondered about that. Some interesting names on there...