Comeback King finishes Wade in Players Championship
PDC Media Officer David Allen brings a round-up and match reports from Friday’s first round games at the totesport.com Players Championship. Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC.
Mervyn King produced a sensational comeback to send world number three James Wade crashing out of the totesport.com Players Championship on Friday night with a 6-5 victory.
King looked set to depart the Circus Tavern on the back of a hiding when left-hander Wade powered into a 5-2 lead in their clash. However, the world number five took three successive legs to force the game into a decider, punishing two missed darts for the match from Wade in the tenth leg before sealing victory with a 106 checkout.
"When I was 5-2 down I kept believing and dug in, and thankfully he missed a couple of chances for the match and I stepped in," said King, who now takes on Jelle Klaasen in Saturday's second round.
The Dutchman disposed of Gary Anderson with a 6-1 victory in a sensational performance, and admitted: "I've worked very hard since the World Championship, especially on my finishing and it showed."
Ronnie Baxter missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish during his narrow 6-5 win over Mark Dudbridge in another thriller at the Circus Tavern. Dudbridge led 2-0 before Baxter hit back to level at three-all, and the Blackpool man narrowly saw his dart for a perfect leg land off-target as he took a 5-4 cushion. A missed double 16 allowed Dudbridge to force a decider, but Baxter hit double eight in the final leg to edge through to a second round date with local rival Wes Newton.
Fleetwood-based Newton was a 6-2 winner against Peter Wright in their first round contest, while Wayne Jones and Mark Walsh will meet in the last 16 following their victories over Andy Smith and Steve Hine respectively.
Colin Osborne bounced back from a first round exit in the World Championship with a 6-3 defeat of Co Stompe, and will meet Michael van Gerwen in the second round after the 20-year-old's 6-2 win over Jamie Caven.
The second round will be played across two sessions on Saturday, with the battle between Essex-born duo Colin Lloyd and Kevin Painter one of the afternoon's highlights amongst three local derbies on the day.
The Fylde coast derby between Baxter and Newton will also take place in the afternoon, while the evening session kicks off with the all-Stoke battle between Adrian Lewis and Andy Hamilton, while reigning champion Phil Taylor meets world number four Terry Jenkins.
totesport.com Players Championship
Friday January 29
Wayne Jones 6-2 Andy Smith
Wes Newton 6-2 Peter Wright
Colin Osborne 6-3 Co Stompe
Mark Walsh 6-4 Steve Hine
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Gary Anderson
Mervyn King 6-5 James Wade
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jamie Caven
Saturday January 30
Afternoon Session - 1pm Start
Steve Beaton v Paul Nicholson
Colin Lloyd v Kevin Painter
Mark Walsh v Wayne Jones
Wes Newton v Ronnie Baxter
Evening Session - 7pm Start
Adrian Lewis v Andy Hamilton
Jelle Klaasen v Mervyn King
Phil Taylor v Terry Jenkins
Colin Osborne v Michael van Gerwen
Best of 15 legs
WAYNE JONES 6-2 ANDY SMITH
WAYNE JONES defeated Andy Smith 6-2 in the first round of the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet.
Both players produced below-par displays, with Smith having been laid low with pleurisy in the build-up, but it was Jones who got over the winning line with the aid of better finishing.
Jones hit a maximum in the first leg of the match in the process of recording a 15-darter before Smith levelled the game by winning the second, hitting a 180 of his own.
Jones moved 2-1 up by converting a 68 finish and then secured a break of throw in the next leg by hitting double eight.
The man from Wolverhampton then extended his advantage to three legs by hitting double 12 to win the fifth leg.
Smith, who has been struggling with ill-health in the run up to the event, hit his second maximum of the game in the sixth leg and went to win it by hitting double eight to reduce the deficit to 4-2.
Jones moved 5-2 ahead with an accurate attempt at double eight, and then won the match by taking out a two-dart 74 finish to book a place in the second round.
"I knew Andy was struggling and it was hard for me to stay motivated," admitted Jones. "We've had some great games before but this time it didn't happen that way.
"The only thing that matters was that I got through, and hopefully I'll play better in the second round."
WES NEWTON 6-2 PETER WRIGHT
WES NEWTON enjoyed a comfortable path into the last 16 of the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship with a 6-2 victory over Peter Wright.
Newton hit four maximums and ended the match with an impressive three-dart average bordering 98.Wright held throw at the start of the match by converting an 80 finish before Newton won the second with the aid of a maximum.
Newton missed two darts at double 16 to break throw in the third leg but Wright failed with his three attempts at double top and Newton returned to oche to hit double eight and lead the game for the first time.
Newton recorded a two-dart 52 finish to win the fourth leg after Wright missed another opportunity at double top and the Lancastrian extended that lead by breaking his opponent's throw for a second time by hitting double 10.
The Lancastrian continued the winning run by taking the sixth leg, which included his third 180 of the game.
That put Newton one leg away from the match and superb 174 to leave himself 32 but Wright managed to hit double top with his last dart to keep his hopes alive.
But Newton put an end to the contest in eighth leg with an accomplished 13-dart-finish to set up a second round clash against Ronnie Baxter or Mark Dudbridge.
"I'm happy with that," said Newton. "I knew I had to perform because Peter has had a brilliant year on the circuit, and I felt I played very well."
Wright said: "I couldn't find my range on stage and it didn't happen for me tonight, but Wes played brilliantly and deserved the win."
COLIN OSBORNE 6-3 CO STOMPE
COLIN OSBORNE overcame the challenge of Dutchman Co Stompe with a 6-3 triumph at the totesport.com Players Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet.
Osborne, who won the 2009 Championship League Darts by defeating Phil Taylor back in October, will now take on either Jamie Caven or Michael van Gerwen on Saturday evening.
He made a confident start to the match hitting a two-dart 96 finish to complete a 14-darter in the opening leg.
Stompe won the second with an excellent 108 checkout but missed chances to break Osborne's throw in the third leg after missing three darts at double 12, and that allowed the Derby man to regain the lead.
Stompe hit a maximum in the fourth leg but missed a dart at double top and Osborne capitalised by hitting that bed to move 3-1 ahead.
Osborne, who suffered a first round defeat to Andy Smith at this event 12 months ago, should have moved three legs clear, but two darts at double 16 were off-target and Stompe managed to hit double top to keep the game finely balanced.
The winning double in the sixth leg proved difficult for both players, Osborne missing five chances but Stompe wasting eight of his own as the Derby man hit double four to hold his lead.
The Dutchman, who defeated Osborne in the first round of last year's Las Vegas Desert Classic, recorded an 80 finish to win the seventh leg but fell two legs behind once again, courtesy of a 13-dart-finish from the Englishman.
That put the third seed one leg away from the match, and he managed to seal a place in the second round by winning the ninth leg on double 16.
"In such a short format it's cut-throat and it's nice to get over the winning line," said Osborne. "The first round is always the hardest to get through and I'm relieved that I've done that, and I can look forward to Saturday's second round now."
Stompe admitted: "I didn't play too well but when I had my chance I didn't take them. If you don't take your chances then you get punished, and Colin finished well."
MARK WALSH 6-4 STEVE HINE
MARK WALSH defeated Steve Hine by a 6-4 scoreline in the first round of the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship.
Walsh, who led 3-0, had to survive a mid-game burst from Hine before sealing a second round tie against Wayne Jones.
Walsh, who lost to Wayne Mardle in a close encounter last year, made a confident start to the match by holding throw to win the first leg and then broke his opponent's throw to establish a 2-0 lead.
The third leg soon feel the way of the second seed, which included a maximum from Walsh before Hine got off the mark by hitting double eight to win the fourth.
The man from Coventry, who lost in the second round of the World Championship to the eventual winner Phil Taylor, then won the fifth leg by breaking his opponent's throw with a clinical 120 checkout.
That reduced Hine's deficit to 3-2 and he soon levelled the match winning the sixth leg with another 120 finish.
The next leg saw Hine miss two darts at double top to lead the game for the first time, and Walsh managed to forge ahead again by hitting double ten with a crucial last dart.
Walsh broke his opponent's throw for a second time with a 72 finish to lead 5-3 but he missed six chances to wrap up the match in the ninth leg and Hine hit double eight with his last dart to keep the game alive.
But Walsh made no mistake in the tenth leg by hitting an 84 finish, with his opponent waiting on a two-darter, to end the match.
"I'm very relieved," said Walsh. "Steve came back well at me and I wasted a lot of chances, and I thought I might blow it but luckily enough I got past the winning post."
Hine said: "The 120 finishes were nice and something for the crowd to cheer but Mark gave me other chances that I didn't take, so I can't complain. He played well."
JELLE KLAASEN 6-1 GARY ANDERSON
JELLE KLAASEN stormed into the last 16 of the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship with a 6-1 drubbing of Scotland's Gary Anderson.
Anderson won the opening leg of the match but from then the Dutchman was dominant and will now take on either James Wade or Mervyn King.
Klaasen recorded a 180 in the first leg but it was Anderson who managed to hold throw by converting an 80 finish.
The Dutchman won the second by hitting double eight and then broke throw in the third leg with a 75 finish.
Klaasen pulled further clear by winning the fourth leg in 13 darts and then won the fifth leg after Anderson was of missing six opportunities at double four.
A maximum from Anderson in the sixth leg could not halt the Dutchman who moved 5-1 ahead with an accurate attempt at double 10 and the end was swift as Klaasen converted a 90 finish on double 15.
"I can do better than this but I'm very pleased," said Klaasen. "I've worked very hard since the World Championship, especially on my finishing, and that showed."
Anderson admitted: "Jelle hit the big scores at the right times and pinched his doubles. I've been practising well but didn't perform tonight."
MERVYN KING 6-5 JAMES WADE
MERVYN KING came back from 5-2 down to defeat James Wade in a thrilling first round contest at the totesport.com Players Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet.
Wade took command in the clash between two of the world's top five players, but only earned two darts to seal victory in the final four legs as King mounted a sensational fightback.
Wade, who reached the semi-finals of last year's event in Essex, won the first leg with an accomplished 14-dart finish.
The man from Aldershot then secured a break of throw with an 80 checkout to win the second leg, after King missed three darts at doubles.
King managed to break back to win the third and levelled the game at two-all with an excellent 50 finish.
Wade won the fifth leg to lead the game for a second time thanks to a 65 checkout, completed on double top.
Both players hit maximums in the next leg, but Wade moved 4-2 up with an excellent 103 checkout, and a 13-dart-finish put the left-hander one leg away from victory.
King hit a fine 130 checkout on double five to win the eighth leg and then broke throw in the ninth to keep his hopes alive.
Wade appeared to have gained the advantage in the tenth leg after hitting three consecutive 140s, but he missed two darts at double 12 to take the win and King converted a two-dart 96 finish to force a decider.
The final leg was finely balanced but, with Wade waiting on 60, King held his nerve to hit a 106 checkout to complete a superb comeback and set up a tasty second round contest with Jelle Klaasen on Saturday.
"When I was 5-2 down I couldn't quite believe it because I felt comfortable and had been playing well," said King. "I could have been 4-1 up at the break but I missed a couple of chances and James took his.
"I kept believing, dug in and thankfully he missed a couple of chances for the match and I stepped in."
Wade said: "At 5-2 it was my game to lose but Mervyn stuck in there well and did the job. I felt good on stage and it was a good game."
RONNIE BAXTER 6-5 MARK DUDBRIDGE
RONNIE BAXTER edged a final leg thriller to defeat Mark Dudbridge in the first round of the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship.
Both players had chances to win the match in the deciding leg but it was Baxter who managed to hold his nerve and set up a last 16 clash against fellow Blackpool man, Wes Newton.
Dudbridge made a good start to the match by hitting an 80 finish to win the first leg against the darts and then won the second leg to double his lead with the aid of a maximum.
Baxter won the third leg by hitting double eight and then squared the game at two each after Dudbridge a dart at double 18 for a 3-1 lead.
But the Bristolian broke his opponent's throw for a second time with an excellent 68 finish but Baxter won the sixth leg to leave the match finely poised at three all.
Dudbridge converted a 14-dart-finish to lead once again but Baxter fought back to win the eighth leg with a two-dart 68 finish.
Baxter, who reached the semi-finals 12 months ago, hit a 180 and 177 at the start of the ninth leg to leave an opportunity of the nine-dart-finish.
The first two darts went straight into the treble 20 but the attempt at double 12 to complete the magical feat was agonisingly off-target.
The leg was won in 12 darts to put Baxter one leg away from the match but he missed a dart at double 16 to win the match and Dudbridge kept his hopes alive by hitting double eight to send the game to a deciding leg.
The final leg saw the Blackpool man miss another dart at double 16 for the match.But Dudbridge could not capitalise as he missed two chances of his own to win the match and Baxter returned to the oche to hit double eight and book a second round spot.
"It was a nail-biting game," said Baxter. "My doubles wouldn't go in early on and I had to battle, so I'm really pleased to get the win in the end.
"It would have been great to cap it with a nine-darter. I missed the eighth dart in the World Championship and this time I missed the ninth, and it was only half an inch away, but I'm getting closer!"
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN 6-2 JAMIE CAVEN
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN made a confident start to the 2010 totesport.com Players Championship with a 6-2 triumph over Jamie Caven.
Van Gerwen will now take on the third seed Colin Osborne on Saturday evening for a place in the quarter-finals following a powerful victory.
The 20-year-old made a fast start to the contest, holding throw to win the opening leg and then taking the second on double top.
The Dutchman increased that lead to 3-0 by hitting double 18 after Caven missed a dart at the bullseye for a 124 checkout in the next.
Caven managed to a leg on the board to reduce the deficit in leg four after the Dutch youngster missed four opportunities to move further clear.
Caven then won the fifth leg by hitting double 18 to reduce the deficit to 3-2 but van Gerwen took leg six on double ten after Caven missed the same double for a 140 checkout.
Van Gerwen hit a maximum in the process of moving 5-2 ahead and landed double 18 to win the match after Caven missed chances to keep the match alive.