Harold mauls Maguire in China Open

Defending champion Stephen Maguire was sent crashing out of the Bank of Beijing China Open at the first hurdle today by Dave Harold.

Defending champion Stephen Maguire was sent crashing out of the Bank of Beijing China Open at the first hurdle today by Dave Harold.

Harold raced to a shock 5-0 victory over the world number two in their first-round encounter, in two hours and six minutes.

Staffordshire-born Harold is 28th in the world and has only one ranking title to his name, winning the Asian Open in 1993 shortly after turning professional.

But his record against Maguire is formidable and having defeated him in August as a qualifier when the Scot was defending his Northern Ireland trophy, Harold repeated the trick to make it four wins out of four against his illustrious opponent.

“It was very, very bad. I don’t know how to sum it up without swearing,” Maguire told www.worldsnooker.com.

Harold’s win set up a second-round meeting with Peter Ebdon, who overcame local wildcard Tang Jun 5-2.

World number five John Higgins also made it through to the next phase but in somewhat less comfortable style, coming back from 4-0 down to complete a terrific 5-4 victory over Anthony Hamilton.1

Joe Perry was another high-profile first-round casualty, last year’s World Championship semi-finalist succumbing 5-2 to qualifier Ricky Walden.

Walden, the 2008 Roewe Shanghai Masters Champion, made it eight consecutive wins in China with the victory and will now take on the winner of Stephen Hendry’s match with Robert Milkins.

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