PDC World Championship - ill Thornton KO's Anderson
ROBERT THORNTON defied a bout of sickness to storm into the third round of the World Darts Championship with a straight sets win over Beau Anderson on Saturday night, as Ian White held off a Kim Huybrechts fightback and Richie Burnett joined the pair in the last 16.
Thornton produced one of the best performances of the tournament so far, hitting seven 180s and averaging almost 99 in dropping only two legs against the Oceanic Masters champion, who had overcome Colin Lloyd on his Alexandra Palace debut.
The performance, though, was made more remarkable as Thornton visibly battled the effects of a virus which also saw him ill before the game and regularly standing next to the on-stage fan to cool down as he swept to victory.
"I was sick before I came on stage and I just felt rough throughout the game," revealed Thornton, who plays Wes Newton or John Part in the third round. "I'm just glad that when I was throwing quickly the darts were going in!
"Beau let me in a few times and I took my finishes out well and closed the match off quickly. To end the game with an average that high is pretty impressive.
"Once or twice I had to bend over and put my head over the fan [by the stage]. I don't know what it is, I just don't feel very well at all. I'll rest up for the next few days and see how I go in the third round."
Stoke's Ian White won through to the third round for the first time in a World Championship with his 4-3 win over Kim Huybrechts - although the Belgian gave him an almighty scare by hitting back from three sets down to force a decider.
White made a brilliant start to win six of the game's first seven legs, securing the second set with a 115 checkout for a 2-0 lead, and then edged the third set 3-2 to continue his dominance.
Huybrechts, a quarter-finalist at Alexandra Palace two years ago, kick-started his challenge by coming from a leg down to win the third set 3-1, before edging the next two in deciding legs to level a dramatic contest.
Huybrechts then moved ahead in the final set with a 13-darter, but White punished a miss at double 16 from the Belgian to level before taking out 62 and 73 to seal victory.
"I had to try and step up another gear in that final set and I gave it my all, and it came good for me in the end!" said White. "I knew it would be a hard game and I'll sleep well tonight, but I'm delighted to be through.
"Kim missed a few doubles earlier on but I was playing well and I punished him. I started to miss a few doubles and he kept coming back at me and I had to hang in there and keep my concentration.
"I'm confident and I've been consistent this year, and I'm in the last 16 now so there's no reason I can't go further."
White will now play Richie Burnett in the third round after Christmas, after the Welsh star reached the last 16 for the first time since 2003 with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over another Stoke ace, Andy Hamilton.
The former Lakeside Champion followed up his fine first round win over Dean Winstanley with a strong display against Hamilton, hitting nine 180s against the 2012 runner-up.
Burnett won the first set without reply, and though Hamilton won the second 3-1, the Welshman claimed a key third in a deciding leg, hitting seven perfect darts before responding to missing out on a nine-darter by landing double top to move 2-1 up in the match.
He then claimed the fourth set 3-1 before coming from 2-0 down in the fifth to complete the victory.
"tI didn't feel brilliant but I'm just happy to get over the winning line," said Burnett. "I played well in the big legs and that means a lot, but I can improve on this and I'm nowhere near my best.
"I played well in patches but I was very nervous and I didn't feel as good as I did in the first round - but I suppose you have to go through a bit of pain to have a win!
"If I prepare myself properly, I can play. I made a lot of mistakes but I still won 4-1, but I want to be consistently deadly because I know I can do magical things on a dartboard."
Hamilton, whose run of reaching at least the quarter-finals of the major TV ranking events in the last 18 months was ended by the defeat, said: "The best player won today. I played alright but missed a few shots and Richie took advantage, and he deserved to win.
"To lose early on might give me a kick up the backside to push on again for next year, and hopefully next year I can get back on track again. I know I'm capable of doing it but I've not done it in this tournament."
The second round continues with a double session at Alexandra Palace on Sunday, with three former finalists in action in the afternoon session as Gary Anderson meets Brendan Dolan, Kevin Painter plays Paul Nicholson and Simon Whitlock meets Jarkko Komula.
Three-time World Champion John Part opens up the evening session against number eight seed Wes Newton, before former Lakeside Champion Mark Webster faces Scotland's John Henderson and last year's beaten finalist Michael van Gerwen takes on Kevin McDine.
World Darts Championship
Saturday December 21
Andy Hamilton 1-4 Richie Burnett
Robert Thornton 4-0 Beau Anderson
Kim Huybrechts 3-4 Ian White
Sunday December 22
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Brendan Dolan v Gary Anderson
Kevin Painter v Paul Nicholson
Simon Whitlock v Jarkko Komula
Evening Session (7pm)
Wes Newton v John Part
John Henderson v Mark Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Kevin McDine
All games the best of seven sets, best of five legs per set
RICHIE BURNETT 4-1 ANDY HAMILTON
(3-0, 1-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
RICHIE BURNETT reached the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship for the first time in 11 years after a brilliant 4-1 victory over 2012 runner-up Andy Hamilton.
Burnett gained revenge for defeat to the Stoke ace at the same stage of this competition 12 months ago with the triumph, aided by nine maximums during the contest.
"It didn't feel that great to be honest, so produce a display like that is a real bonus against a great player like Andy," said the Welshman, a former Lakeside Champion.
"I feel a lot more comfortable on the big stages again now I've been back in the game for the last three years - it still doesn't ease my nerves too much though.
"My whole body shakes before I go out on stage so I'm trying not to think about the match until five minutes before I go up there, but I've managed to play really well in these first two games and I want to keep the standard high."
The 1995 World Champion capitalised on a slow start from Hamilton to take the first set without reply, before Hamilton found his range to take the second by a 3-1 margin.
The third set was a tight affair that went the full distance, and the deciding leg saw Burnett hit form at a vital time as he hit consecutive 180s to leave the opportunity of a nine-darter.
The Welshman successfully hit a seventh treble 20, but failed to find the treble 19 bed to continue the 141 combination, although he returned to hit double top with a pressure third dart to edge the set before a 14-darter gave him the fourth set and a 3-1 cushion.
Hamilton was now in big trouble but led the fifth set 2-1 with a break of throw, only for Burnett to cancel that advantage as he took out an 80 finish to move a leg away from victory before clinching the match in style in the fifth leg as he hit two maximums in a brilliant 13-darter to end Hamilton's hopes of glory.
0-1 - Burnett holds throw thanks to an accurate third dart on double ten.
0-2 - Hamilton misses two darts to hold throw and Burnett hits tops at the first attempt to capitalise on Hamilton's slow start.
0-3 - The number five seed is just off-target on the bullseye, for a 130 finish, and Burnett hits double eight to establish an early lead.
1-0 - Hamilton starts to find his range as he kicks-off the leg with consecutive 140s before hitting double 16 for a 14-darter.
1-1 - Burnett hits the first 180 of the game before landing double three to level, after Hamilton missed one dart at the bullseye.
2-1 - The Welshman posts another 180 to leave 40, but wastes three darts at double top and Hamilton hits double 18 to edge ahead once again.
3-1 - Hamilton takes the initiative as he hits a brilliant 171 score before hitting tops with his first dart, to level at one apiece.
0-1 - Burnett hits a 134 to leave 40, before Hamilton hits a 180 to apply pressure, but the Welshman holds his nerve to hit double ten.
1-1 - A high-quality leg from both players sees the Stoke ace post another 180, sandwiched by two 140s from Burnett, before Hamilton goes on to win the leg with a 124 checkout, ending on the bullseye.
1-2 - Burnett hits the double 16 bed with an accurate third dart to hold throw.
2-2 - Hamilton hits double top at the first time of asking to force a deciding leg.
2-3 - Burnett hits a timely 180 and follows it with another, to ignite hopes a nine-darter. He successfully hits a seventh treble 20 before missing treble 19 for a 141 combination. The Welshman then misses five attempts at tops before finding the bed with his third dart to win the set.
0-1 - Burnett hits a fifth 180 but misses two chances to win the leg on double 19. However, Hamilton fails with three attempts at double five and the former World Champion hits double two to break his opponent's throw.
0-2 - The Welshman hits another maximum, but five missed darts at doubles give Hamilton a chance. However, the number five seed fails with four attempts of his own and Burnett returns to hit double one.
1-2 - Hamilton hits double seven for a 14-dart-finish to keep the set alive.
1-3 - Consistent high scoring from Burnett sees him 81 after 12 darts, which he converts for a 14-darter to leave the UK Open finalist in big trouble.
1-0 - Hamilton hits a third 180 before converting a 67 finish on double eight to break throw, after Burnett misses two shots at doubles.
2-0 - The world number five doubles his lead as he land tops for a 14-darter.
2-1 - Burnett replies with a 14-dart finish of his own, which features the Welshman's seventh 180.
2-2 - Burnett converts an 80 finish on double top to break throw and move a leg away from triumph.
2-3 - The Welshman crosses the finish line with a clinical 13-darter, which featured two maximums.
ROBERT THORNTON 4-0 BEAU ANDERSON
(3-1, 3-0, 3-1, 3-0)
ROBERT THORNTON defied a virus to drop just two legs in dismissing Beau Anderson in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a straight sets second round win over the Australian.
The world number nine's display, as he ended the game with a three-dart average over 98, was enhanced after it emerged that he had been feeling unwell ahead of the game.
"I was sick before I came on to the stage and I just felt rough throughout the game," said the former UK Open champion. "To end the game with an average that high is pretty impressive!
"I'm glad to have got through in that fashion under the circumstances. I need to go away now and try and get myself right before my third round game after Christmas.
"After Phil Taylor's loss last night, many people are saying that I'm one of the guys in with a great opportunity to get to the final from the top half of the draw but I'm not thinking like that - there are so many high-quality players still involved. You've got to fight all the way as it's not going to be handed to you on a plate."
Thornton won the opening two legs of the game before Anderson, who defeated two-time major winner Colin Lloyd in the first round, hit double top to win the third.
The Scot then wrapped up the set by hitting double top before breezing through the second set without reply from his opponent, landing a 106 finish in the first leg.
Anderson hit a 13-darter to win his second leg of the game in the second leg of set three, only for Thornton to reply with one of his own in the next to lead 2-1 before taking out a 120 finish to claim a 3-0 lead.
Despite his illness, Thornton swept through the fourth set comfortably, recording finishes of 15, 14 and 12 darts to secure his place in the last 16.
1-0 - Thornton starts brightly with a 180 before winning the first leg on double six.
2-0 - The Scotsman hits double three to continue his good start.
2-1 - Anderson takes out 58 on double top, defying a 180 from his opponent.
3-1 - The Australian misses one dart at double top for a 120 finish, and Thornton hits the same double with his first dart to draw first blood.
1-0 - Thornton breaks throw with a clinical 106 finish, with his opponent waiting on 40.
2-0 - The Scotsman posts a third 180 before taking out 72 on double six.
3-0 - Anderson is off-target with one dart at the bullseye for a 124 finish, and Thornton hits double five with an accurate third dart to move further clear.
1-0 - Anderson hits a 180 but fails to find the winning double and Thornton capitalises by hitting double five for the second leg running.
1-1 - The Australian defies a maximum from his opponent as he records a 13-darter to claim just his second leg of the game.
2-1 - Thornton replies with a 13-dart finish of his own, in a leg which featured the world number nine's fifth 180.
3-1 - Thornton takes out a 120 finish to move a set away from victory.
1-0 - Thornton powers on at the start of set four with back-to-back 180s before hitting double 18 for a 14-darter.
2-0 - The Scotsman takes out 61 on double 18 to complete a 15-dart leg.
3-0 - Thornton closes out the match in style as he hits the bullseye for an 81 finish, to complete a 12-darter.
IAN WHITE 4-3 KIM HUYBRECHTS
(3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 1-3, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1)
IAN WHITE survived a sensational comeback from Kim Huybrechts to claim a dramatic 4-3 victory in the second round of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
Huybrechts fell 3-0 down and his hopes of a last 16 place appeared to have evaporated, before the Belgian ace clawed back to win the next three sets and force a decider.
However, White recovered to break throw in the third leg before sealing the match in the fourth, and will face Richie Burnett for a place in the quarter-finals after the Welshman had knocked out world number five Andy Hamilton earlier on Saturday evening.
White capitalised on some poor finishing from his opponent to take the first 3-0, before the second also fell in favour of the Stoke ace, which included an excellent 12-darter in the third leg.
White moved 2-1 up in the third set before a missed dart at tops to win the set in the next was punished by Huybrechts, who took a 111 finish.
Huybrechts was in control of the deciding leg, but two missed darts at doubles saw White edge the set on double top and establish a 3-0 cushion.
White, who defied a nine-darter from Kyle Anderson to win their first round clash, took the opening of set four before Huybrechts put together a run of three straight legs to win the set and reduce the deficit.
The fifth set proved to be a high-quality affair which Huybrechts edged 3-2 to continue the comeback, after the pair shared four 14-dart finishes.
White built a 2-1 lead in the sixth to move a leg away from victory before Huybrechts hit a trio of 140 scores in a brilliant 12-darter to keep his hopes alive.
The Stoke thrower held the advantage of throw in the deciding leg, but the Belgian showed great character as he forced a decider by hitting double top with his opponent waiting on double 14 for the match.
The pair shared the opening two legs of the final set before Huybrechts was the first to crack after missing two darts at double 18, and White capitalised by converting a 62 finish.
Huybrechts was unable to hit back from those errors and White took out a 73 finish, on double top, to reach the last 16 of the competition for the first time.
"I feel totally shattered now, but absolutely thrilled to be through," said White, who has lost in the opening round on his two previous appearances at Alexandra Palace.
"I felt that I'd blown my opportunity after losing the big advantage I had built up. But I re-focused, cleared my head of any negative thoughts, and concentrated on playing one set of darts.
"It's a great feeling to still be involved after not enjoying much success in this event and I hope to go on and win a few more matches."
0-1 - Huybrechts fires in a maximum, but two missed darts at doubles prove costly as White takes out a 68 finish to break throw.
0-2 - The second leg follows a similar pattern of the first leg as the Belgian number one hits another 180 before the Stoke ace takes out a 66 finish.
0-3 - Huybrechts misses double seven for a 93 finish, and White lands double four to wrap up an impressive first set.
0-1 - White hits his first 180 of the game before hitting double top.
1-1 - Huybrechts hits double 16 at the first attempt to win his first leg of the match.
1-2 - White starts the leg with a maximum before going to hit double six for a 12-darter.
1-3 - Huybrechts hits a score of 174 only for White to hit a clinical 115 finish, on double top, to leave the Belgian ace two sets down.
0-1 - White hits a fourth 180 followed an accurate attempt at double top, after Huybrechts had missed one shot at double 16.
1-1 - Both players kick-off the leg with 180s before White makes a crucial mistake attempting to take out 25, as he bursts his score by hitting treble 14 with his first dart. Huybrechts accepts the let-off by hitting double five, after missing two previous opportunties.
1-2 - White recovers brilliantly from the mistake of the previous leg as takes out a 92 finish, on double 18, for a brilliant 12-darter.
2-2 - White misses double top for a 116 finish, which would given him the set, and the number 12 seed shows his class as he takes out a 111 finish to force a deciding leg.
2-3 - Huybrechts posts a timely 180, but two darts at double six to win the set go begging and White pinches the set on double top, to move further ahead.
0-1 - Huybrechts starts the leg with a 180 only for White to respond with a maximum of his own to leave 24, and the Stoke ace hits double six for a 14-darter.
1-1 - The Belgian misses the bullseye, for a 170 checkout, but hits double one to level.
2-1 - Huybrechts breaks his opponent's throw for the first time as he hits double 13 for a 13-dart finish.
3-1 - White hits a 180, but a missed dart at the bullseye gives Huybrechts a chance to win the set, which he takes by hitting double top at the first time of asking.
1-0 - Huybrechts takes out a 70 finish to make a positive start to the set.
1-1 - White levels on double 16 for an impressive 14-darter.
2-1 - Huybrechts replies with a 14-dart finish of his own, taking out a two-dart 72 checkout .
2-2 - White hits double 18 at the first attempt to post another 14-darter, and move a leg away from victory.
3-2 - The high standard continues as Huybrechts records another 14-darter to continue the comeback, in a leg where the Belgian hit scores of 180 and 170.
0-1 - Both players miss one dart at a double before White lands the middle of the double eight bed to hold throw.
1-1 - Huybrechts converts an 82 finish on double top to draw level.
1-2 - Huybrechts hits a seventh 180, but White wins the leg on double 12 to once again move a leg away from a third round spot.
2-2 - The Belgian hits a trio of 140 scores to leave 81, which he takes out on double 12 for an impressive 12-darter.
3-2 - White holds the advantage of throw, but Huybrechts hits double top, with his opponent waiting on double 14 for the match, to send the game to a final set.
1-0 - Huybrechts hits double 16 for a 13-darter to lead the match for the first time.
1-1 - The number 12 seed is just off-target on double 16 for a 140 checkout and White hits double top to capitalise.
1-2 - Two missed darts at double 18 prove expensive from Huybrechts, as White hits double four with his third dart, to convert a 62 finish.
1-3 - White hits double top for a 73 finish to reach the third round of the competition.