Grand Slam of Darts - Day One Round-Up
Please find below a round-up, results and match reports from Saturday's opening night of the 2009 Grand Slam of Darts.
Text courtesy of David Allen and Rob Gardikiotis, image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig, PDC.
PHIL TAYLOR began his bid for a third successive Grand Slam of Darts title with a 5-0 whitewash of Anastasia Dobromyslova on Saturday night.
Taylor, the reigning champion, proved imperious in averaging 105 in his opening group game at the Wolverhampton Civic, restricting the Russian to just one dart at a double in the contest.
Taylor will take on Mark Webster on Sunday night, after the Welshman defeated Vincent van der Voort in the other Group A opener.
"It's a good start from me and I'm pleased," said Taylor. "It was always going to be hard playing Anastasia because we know each other so well, but she's got so much potential."
Webster, the 2008 BDO World Champion, averaged almost 100 and hit five of 11 darts at a double in an impressive display.
"I was nervous beforehand but I felt good and it's my best display for a while," said Webster. "I'll give it a big go against Phil and I've a great chance to go through now."
The opening night of the £400,000 event also featured a second whitewash, as Mervyn King - a semi-finalist in Wolverhampton last year - swept past Kirk Shepherd 5-0.
ITV Wildcard Qualifier Steve Maish, who only won his place in the tournament a week ago, defeated 2008 quarter-finalist Darryl Fitton 5-3 in Group C's other match.
Raymond van Barneveld won the all-Dutch battle with current Women's World Champion Francis Hoenselaar 5-1, although he needed a key 160 checkout in seeing off his female opponent.
Van Barneveld meets Kevin Painter in Sunday's second Group D game, after the Englishman defeated John Part 5-3.
Painter hit six 180s and two 11-darters in seeing off the three-time World Champion, and said: "It's nice to open the group with a win and if I can beat Raymond that should put me through."
Tony O'Shea, the BDO World Championship runner-up to Ted Hankey in January, opened his challenge with a 5-3 win over Brian Woods in his Grand Slam of Darts debut.
Colin Osborne was Group B's other winner on the opening night, coming from 3-0 down to defeat Colin Lloyd 5-3.
Play continues on Sunday, with Groups E-H playing their first games in the afternoon session from 12pm, which includes BDO World Champion Hankey up against Scott Waites.
Simon Whitlock plays Wayne Mardle in the other Group E match, while James Wade - who hit a nine-darter in the 2008 Grand Slam of Darts - meets American Gary Mawson.
The evening session sees Groups A-D play their second games.
Grand Slam of Darts
First Round - Group Stage
Game One, Groups A-D Results
Mervyn King 5-0 Kirk Shepherd
Raymond van Barneveld 5-1 Francis Hoenselaar
Tony O'Shea 5-3 Brian Woods
Colin Osborne 5-3 Colin Lloyd
Phil Taylor 5-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova
Kevin Painter 5-3 John Part
Steve Maish 5-1 Darryl Fitton
Mark Webster 5-3 Vincent van der Voort
Sunday November 15
Afternoon Session (12pm-5pm)
Groups E-H First Games
Steve Beaton v Co Stompe
Robert Thornton v Andy Hamilton
Adrian Lewis v Darin Young
Simon Whitlock v Wayne Mardle
Ted Hankey v Scott Waites
Gary Anderson v Kevin McDine
James Wade v Gary Mawson
Terry Jenkins v Denis Ovens
Evening Session (6pm-11pm)
Groups A-D Second Games
John Part v Francis Hoenselaar
Colin Lloyd v Brian Woods
Vincent van der Voort v Anastasia Dobromyslova
Darryl Fitton v Kirk Shepherd
Raymond van Barneveld v Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor v Mark Webster
Tony O'Shea v Colin Osborne
Mervyn King v Steve Maish
SATURDAY EVENING MATCH REPORTS
MERVYN KING 5-0 KIRK SHEPHERD
MERVYN KING opened up the 2009 Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-0 demolition of 2008 World Championship finalist, Kirk Shepherd.
King, seeded fifth for this year's event produced a clinical display hitting all the five attempts he had on doubles.
King broke throw in the second leg with a 106 finish and followed that with two-dart 100 checkout to lead 3-0.
The Norfolk based thrower landed double top for the second leg running for a 4-0 lead and then completed the win by hitting double 16.
After the match King said: "It's a good start to the tournament for me. My finishing was like a knife in the side for him."
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 5-1 FRANCIS HOENSELAAR
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD came out on top in the all-Dutch encounter with a 5-1 victory over the current Women's World Champion, Francis Hoenselaar in the Grand Slam of Darts.
Van Barneveld was pleased to come through the game, despite a below par performance, admitting: "I wasn't easy for me to play Francis.
"We have practised many hours together in the past and I know what she can do on her day."
Hoensaleer was disappointed with her performance on the big stage. She said, "I didn't produce what I know I can.
"If I could have levelled the game at 1-1 it could have been different, but his 160 checkout was fantastic."
After taking the first leg, van Barneveld took a 2-0 lead when he converted a 160 checkout, after Hoenselaar missed the bullseye to level the game.
The five-time world champion moved 3-0 ahead before Hoenselaar landed double eight to reduce the deficit.
Van Barneveld restored his three leg advantage by winning the fifth leg and then ended Hoenselaar's hopes with a 121 finish on the bullseye.
The Dutchman has two group games remaining in Group D against John Part and Kevin Painter.
TONY O'SHEA 5-3 BRIAN WOODS
TONY O'SHEA won the opening game of Group B after overcoming Brian Woods in a tight encounter at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
O'Shea made life difficult for himself after wasting opportunities to move 4-1 ahead, but eventually came through after Woods let slip a chance to take the game to a deciding leg.
The man from Stockport held throw in the opening leg before Woods squared the game with a 78 finish.
O'Shea hit two maximums in taking the third leg and the broke throw in the next to establish a 3-1 lead.
Woods hit back to take the fifth leg with an excellent 111 checkout after O'Shea was guilty of missing three darts at doubles to extend his lead.
Woods then won the sixth leg to level at 3-3 apiece before O'Shea took the lead once again with a timely 106 finish.
In the eighth leg, Woods had chances to take the game into a deciding leg, but his four attempts at doubles were off-target and O'Shea cashed in by landing double eight for the match.
After the match a delighted O'Shea was pleased with how his Grand Slam debut had panned out.
"I was not sure what to expect tonight," he said. "But the crowd gave me a really good reception and I enjoyed the experience."
COLIN OSBORNE 5-3 COLIN LLOYD
COLIN OSBORNE came from 3-0 down to win the second Group B clash on the opening night of the Grand Slam of Darts.
In a game littered with missed doubles, Lloyd got the better of the early exchanges. But Osborne worked his way back into the contest and came away with the two points.
Lloyd started the game confidently taking the first leg, which included a maximum. He then moved into a 2-0 lead after Osborne missed seven darts at doubles.
The Essex thrower went 3-0 up, but missed four chances to increase that lead and allowed Osborne to pinch the leg.
Osborne, who defeated Phil Taylor to win the Championship League Darts last month, broke Lloyd's throw after his opponent missed two chances at double top.
The Derby man then continued the run after Lloyd missed further opportunities at double top, before taking the lead for the first time by hitting double ten with his last dart.
In the eighth leg Osborne hit his first maximum of the contest and then polished off a 68 finish to seal the win.
PHIL TAYLOR 5-0 ANASTASIA DOBROMYSLOVA
PHIL TAYLOR kicked-off his campaign for a third successive Grand Slam of Darts title with a 5-0 whitewash over Anastasia Dobromyslova, in Wolverhampton.
The 14-time world champion, who has every major ranking title this year, ended the match with a three-dart average of 105.85 in an ideal start to the event.
"It was a hard game for both of us to play because we know each other so well," said Taylor. "Ana is a great player and has so much potential to realise, and she will only be better for this."
Taylor won the opening leg courtesy of a 104 checkout after Dobromyslova was waiting on two-dart finish.
The Stoke star then won the next two legs with 13 and 14 dart finishes respectively to move 3-0 ahead.
The former Women's World Champion had one dart at double top to win the fourth leg, but the attempt was off-target and Taylor landed double ten for his second 13-darter of the game.
Victory was confirmed in the fifth leg when Taylor landed double top to win his first match in Group A.
"It wasn't too bad a performance, but Phil was too good and I got what I deserved," said Dobromyslova. "It's happened now and I will just look ahead to the next game."
KEVIN PAINTER 5-3 JOHN PART
KEVIN PAINTER edged a high-quality Group D encounter on the first night of the 2009 Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-3 victory over John Part.
Painter hit six maximums in a superb display and will now take on Raymond van Barneveld tomorrow evening.
It was the Canadian who started the match well by breaking throw in the opening leg after his opponent missed three darts at double.
But Painter hit-back well, hitting a 'Shanghai' 120 finish to take the second leg and then hit an 11 darter to lead 2-1.
Part won the fourth leg to level the game at two all, before the Daventry thrower lead for a second time by converting an 84 checkout.
Painter moved further ahead in the sixth leg, which included his third maximum of the match followed by an 81 finish.
Part kept the game alive with a fantastic 11-dart finish, but Painter replied in kind in the eighth leg to come out victorious.
After the match a delighted Painter said: "It's nice to open the group with a win, and if I can beat Raymond on Sunday that could put me through.
"When you win a game like that it's nice and I enjoyed it. John played well and never gave up, but I would have been disappointed to lose it."
STEVE MAISH 5-1 DARRYL FITTON
STEVE MAISH enjoyed a dream debut victory at the Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-1 triumph over Darryl Fitton at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Maish, who claimed the last available spot in the event after coming through the ITV Wildcard Qualifier last weekend will now take on Mervyn King, who won the other Group C match earlier in the evening.
Fitton started the match confidently, holding throw in the first leg, which included a maximum from the Stockport man.
But Maish levelled the game in the next leg, and then produced an excellent 104 checkout, after Fitton missed one dart at double to take a 2-1 lead.
The man from Southend increased his lead by taking the fourth leg with a 64 finish, and followed that up with a 120 checkout to break throw for the second time.
And Maish wrapped up the game in the sixth leg by landing double eight to complete an excellent display.
"I'm on cloud nine at the moment," said Maish. "To get through the qualifier was like winning the competition in itself.
"When my head's right I can really play darts and I produced that tonight."
Looking ahead to his second Group match against Mervyn King tomorrow evening, Maish added: "I beat Mervyn in the Pro Tour event last weekend and hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow."
MARK WEBSTER 5-3 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT
MARK WEBSTER came out on top in a tight encounter against Dutchman Vincent van der Voort with a 5-3 victory in the 2009 Grand Slam of Darts.
The Welshman, making his third appearance in the event, started confidently to win the opening leg, before van der Voort held his own throw to level at 1-1.
Webster converted a 67 finish to win the third leg, but van der Voort squared the game for a second time by landing double 16.
Webster took the lead for the third time in the game but van der Voort continued to hold his own and won the sixth leg after both players had recorded maximums.
The Dutchman hit a superb 177, to leave 24 but he was unable to take the chance as he missed double 12 on three occasions and Webster stepped in to move one leg away from victory.
Those misses from van der Voort proved crucial as Webster hit his second maximum of the game in the eighth leg, followed by an 81 checkout to record a confidence boosting win.
"I felt really good tonight, and it's probably the best I have played for 12 months," said Webster. "Tonight's win gives me a really good chance of progressing in this tournament."
Webster will now take on Phil Taylor tomorrow night, who defeated Anastasia Dobromyslova in the other Group A clash, earlier on Saturday evening.