ARFAN Dad came agonisingly close to winning his first Ultimate Pool title of the year over the weekend, losing 5-3 in the Players Championship semi-finals to eventual winner Jon McAllister.

But the Keighley native has railed against the ‘inconsistent’ tag he feels many label him with, and knows he is capable of competing for plenty more trophies this season.

Dad told the Keighley News: “I feel like saying I lack consistency is maybe not a fair shout.

“Over the last two years on the Ultimate Pool circuit, I’ve got myself into the top-16 and I got to three quarter-finals and a final last season.

“I think a lot of players would have taken that as their year, and I ended up being 12th ranked on the tour last season.

“Others might think I’m inconsistent, because I don’t always appear at the back end of tournaments, but I think even this year so far I’m 12th ranked again among all the Ultimate Pool players, and that’s even having missed a tournament while I was out in China.

“I feel like I am consistent and you have to remember that sometimes you can lose a pool match without doing much wrong.

“I’d say I play at my best level most of the time, but you just hope you don’t have to come up against someone playing so well that you get blitzed regardless.”

Keighley News: Arfan Dad can compete with anyone on his day, but then anyone can have their day in what is a high-quality Ultimate Pool field.Arfan Dad can compete with anyone on his day, but then anyone can have their day in what is a high-quality Ultimate Pool field. (Image: Ultimate Pool.)

Dad did not get blitzed in that semi-final on Sunday night against McAllister, which he admitted was a source of frustration.

He said: “I didn’t have much luck with my last three breaks, going dry on two of them and in off on the other.

“But with the chances I had during the game, I should have been 4-3 up regardless, so I blame myself too, it’s not just down to bad luck.

“I always look at myself and what I can do better, and I let myself down with some errors early doors.

“If I hadn’t gone in off in the eighth frame, it’d have been 4-4, but Jon still would have had the advantage of the break to beat me 5-4 anyway.”

Dad won a six-red shootout decider against Lewis Roberts to squeeze out of his group in second place, before impressive victories over Stevie Dempsey (5-2) and Hiten Patel (5-3) in the last-16 and quarter-final respectively.

Asked whether he thought he was on course to break his title duck for the year, the Keighley potter said: “I think you start to think about winning tournaments once you reach the last-16 or last-eight.

“It’s really cutthroat on the Ultimate Pool circuit, so you’re just trying to get through those first two or three games you have at a tournament.

“But once you get to the Sunday, and it’s knockout pool, you start to really take your time, as there’s only 16 players left and you’ve all got a real chance of the title.”

Dad's fellow Keighley native Chris Melling also reached the last-16 of the Players Championship after winning his group on Friday.

But he was felled in that first knockout round, losing 5-3 to eventual finalist Phil Parkin.

Melling will join Dad at the latter's next Ultimate Pool tournament on the weekend of May 18-19.

That is the annual Last Man Standing event, but this week Dad is in Telford for the UK Open Pool Championship.

The nine-ball Matchroom event will have some of the best players in the country involved, as well as a rogue wildcard in former Watford striker Troy Deeney, which could help attract a few extra fans.