PDC World Championship - Wade & Webster avoid upsets
JAMES WADE and Mark Webster avoided potential upsets in the World Darts Championship on Thursday night, as they were joined in the second round of the tournament by big guns Wes Newton and Kevin Painter at Alexandra Palace.
World number six Wade, a three-time semi-finalist, stared defeat in the face against Darren Webster as the Norfolk ace led 2-1 in sets before missing six match darts in the deciding leg of the set.
Wade pounced on double ten to save the game, and went on to take the game's deciding set 3-1 to progress to a second round tie with Andy Smith on Monday.
"I feel really lucky tonight and I made the most of it," said Wade. "I usually lose those sort of games but Darren didn't finish the job, and let me in.
"Maybe I shouldn't still be in the tournament, but I want to make the most of it now. I've prepared for this probably better than I have for any World Championship and I'm feeling good."
Two-time semi-finalist Mark Webster, the former Lakeside Champion, also endured some nervous moments before defeating Austria's Mensur Suljovic in a fifth-set tie-break.
Suljovic took the game's first set 3-1 and edged the third 3-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the game, only for Webster to fire through the fourth set without reply to force a decider.
Suljovic took out 130 to lead in the fifth set, but Webster won two of the next three to stay level at two-all before firing in a brilliant 150 finish to break throw before sealing an important win on tops.
"It wasn't pretty, but I thought that, at times, I played really well," said Webster, who now meets Scotland's John Henderson. "For the first time in a while, I showed a bit of bottle.
"I was constantly behind, and I've probably thrown my toys out of the pram a bit when I've been behind on the ProTour in the last year or so, so I'm really pleased from that point of view that I came back to win the game.
"I'm dead chuffed with that. I'm just glad to win, I wanted it to be a bit more straightforward but I'll take the win.
"It's an opportunity for me and it's an opportunity for John as well. We're not frightened of each other and it's a big game on Sunday; I've been as high as world number six and I want to get back up there and really compete in these tournaments."
Number eight seed Wes Newton progressed to a second round tie with three-time World Champion John Part as he overcame Hong Kong's Ting Chi Royden Lam 3-1.
Lam had enjoyed a 4-1 preliminary round victory over Holland's Gino Vos earlier in the night, and shared the opening four legs of his first round tie with Newton before the Fleetwood ace hit a 14-darter to take the set.
Newton then won the second set without reply, only to see the Greater China Qualifier take the third 3-1, sealing the set by taking out 50 on the bullseye, a standard shot in the soft-tip version of darts in which he is a star in Asia.
His hopes of glory in the steel-tip format, though, would be ended for this year as Newton came from a leg down in the fourth set to seal victory by taking the deciding leg on tops.
"I'm relieved to get through that and happy with the win," said Newton. "I did the hard work and got two sets up early on and I relaxed a bit.
"I didn't mean to, but I was a bit lucky in the end because he was one leg away from making it two sets all, and anything can happen then.
"I didn't know what to expect from Royden but I know more about John Part - he's a really nice man and I've got a lot of respect for him, and I look forward to a tough game against him and I'll have to be on my game.
"This is a massive tournament, the pinnacle of our year and I want to do well, so I'm giving it my all."
Kevin Painter, the 2004 World Championship runner-up, completed the first round action with arguably the most impressive display, dropping only one leg in a ruthless display against Germany's Tomas Seyler.
Seyler opened the game with a 180 and took the first leg only for Painter to sweep through the rest of the contest, hitting nine doubles from 11 attempts and ending the game with a 98.59 average.
"I'm very pleased with that," said Painter, who now faces Paul Nicholson. "When you're coming into a World Championship, you've got to come in with a bang and that's what I've done.
"My practice has been good and I had a feeling I was going to play. My confidence is high and it all came together tonight.
"Tomas is a good player and he hit a 180 with his first throw and won the first leg comfortably, but I just kept my head because I knew that I would out-scoring him in the end."
The second round begins on Friday night with the first three games in the last 32, with reigning champion Phil Taylor returning to the Alexandra Palace stage for a clash with World Youth Champion Michael Smith.
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld meets Jamie Caven, and number 16 seed Peter Wright faces Danish qualifier Per Laursen, who had defied a nine-dart finish from Terry Jenkins to win their first round clash.
World Darts Championship
Thursday December 19
Mark Webster 3-2 Mensur Suljovic
Gino Vos 1-4 Royden Lam (P)
James Wade 3-2 Darren Webster
Wes Newton 3-1 Royden Lam
Kevin Painter 3-0 Tomas Seyler
Friday December 20 (7pm)
Peter Wright v Per Laursen
Raymond van Barneveld v Jamie Caven
Phil Taylor v Michael Smith
MARK WEBSTER 3-2 MENSUR SULJOVIC
(1-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-0, 4-2)
MARK WEBSTER came through a fifth set tie-break to defeat the plucky Mensur Suljovic in the first round of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
The Austrian, who defeated Michael van Gerwen and James Wade en route to third round in 2011, made a blistering start by taking five of the first six legs.
Webster managed to claw his way back to edge the second set in a deciding leg on double seven, before Suljovic claimed a tight third set to move 2-1 ahead.
The former Lakeside Champion won the fourth set comfortably, before holding his nerve in final set tie-break, as he hit a 150 finish to take a 3-2 lead before closing out the game on double top.
"To be honest I thought was going out and going home early," admitted the two-time PDC World Championship semi-finalist. "Mensur started brilliantly and I was struggling to keep up with him, and it was looking like I would lose 3-0.
"I gritted my teeth and battled hard and I'm over the moon to have come back from 2-1 down to win a tight game like that, having lost so many games of that nature."
1-0 - Webster hits a confidence-boosting 180 before landing double ten to record a 14-darter.
1-1 - Suljovic starts the leg with a 180 and goes to hit double two for a 15-dart finish.
1-2 - The Austrian once again kicks-off the leg with a maximum and hits double ten to break throw.
1-3 - Suljovic records a third 180 in as many legs before hitting double eight to win an impressive opening set.
0-1 - Both players post 180s before Suljovic hits double ten for a 14-darter, continuing his impressive standard.
0-2 - Suljovic wins a fifth leg on the spin as he converts a two-dart 70 finish to break.
1-2 - Webster takes out an 80 finish on tops to win the set's third leg against the darts, which featured the Welshman's fourth 180.
2-2 - Suljovic misses three chances to win the set and Webster takes advantage of those errors as he hits double top with a pressure third dart.
3-2 - Webster is off-target with two chances to level, only for Suljovic to miss double top for the set. The pumped-up Welshman returns to hit double seven to edge the set and draw level.
1-0 - Suljovic dominates the third set's opening leg with scores of 137, 140, 140, but the Austrian fails with six chances to win the leg and Webster manages to hit double 11 at the sixth time of asking.
1-1 - The tension begins to show in both players as Suljovic fails with nine attempts at doubles, only for Webster to be guilty of wasting ten darts of his own as the Austrian finally wins the leg on double three.
2-1 - Webster recovers from the loss of the previous leg as he hits double top to regain the lead.
2-2 - The Austrian lands double 18 to set up a fifth leg to decide the third set.
2-3 - Suljovic misses the bullseye for a 161 checkout, and goes on to miss three more chances for the set. Webster, though, is unable to capitalise as he is off-target with one dart at tops and Suljovic returns to hit double eight.
1-0 - The former Lakeside Champion hits double ten to hold throw.
2-0 - Webster hits his fifth 180 of the game and follows that with a 96 finish, ending on double eight, to break his opponent's throw.
3-0 - The Welshman wraps up the fourth set convincingly as he hits double ten, to follow another 180.
0-1 - Webster looks on course to win a fourth leg in a row by leaving 40 after 15 darts, but Suljovic hits the bullseye for a brilliant 130 checkout.
1-1 - The Welshman starts the leg with a 180 and goes to level the set with a clinical 11-dart-finish.
2-1 - Webster holds his nerve to land double five with an accurate third dart to move ahead.
2-2 - Suljovic hits a superb 170 score to leave 71, which he converts on double top to force a tie-break.
3-2 - Webster produces a brilliant 150 checkout courtesy of treble 20, bullseye and double top to move ahead.
4-2 - Webster hits an eighth 180 to leave 43 and apply pressure as Suljovic, who had made the earlier running, fails to set up a shot at a double attempting a 57 finish, and the left-hander returns to close out the game on tops.
TING CHI ROYDEN LAM 4-1 GINO VOS
HONG KONG'S Ting Chi Royden Lam claimed a fine 4-1 victory over Gino Vos in the preliminary round of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship as he enjoyed a successful Alexandra Palace debut.
Lam, who won a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School last January, opened up a 2-0 advantage before his Dutch opponent - who was defeated by Adrian Lewis 12 months ago - won the third to reduce the gap.
Lam hit double top to restore his two-leg advantage before crossing the winning line in the next, hitting a 180 before landing double ten to set up a clash with Wes Newton later in the evening.
0-1 - The Hong Kong debutant starts confidently as he takes out 60 in two darts, to break throw.
0-2 - Lam hits double four to increase his advantage and put the Dutchman under pressure.
1-2 - Vos gets a leg on the board to reduce the deficit.
1-3 - Lam hits double top with an accurate third dart to restore his two-leg advantage.
1-4 - Lam lands double ten to set up a first round clash against Wes Newton.
JAMES WADE 3-2 DARREN WEBSTER
(3-2, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
JAMES WADE overcame a major scare to progress to the last 32 of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a titanic five-set victory over Darren Webster.
Webster missed six chances to win the match in the deciding leg of the fourth set, having been in clinical form on the doubles earlier in the game in his bid to knock out the world number six..
Wade, a three-time semi-finalist in this event, recovered to force a deciding set, which he took by a 3-1 margin to come through a tough examination.
"I really got away with it tonight and feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now," admitted the seven-time major champion, who will now play Andy Smith in the second round.
"I should be going home now, but Darren didn't finish the job and I took my chance. I normally lose games like this so I want to make the most of it."
The first set went with throw throughout as Wade won a deciding leg to move ahead before Webster levelled up by taking a second set which also went the full distance.
The world number six looked on course to take the third when he moved 2-0 up, but five missed darts at doubles over the three next three legs proved expensive, as Webster took a 2-1 lead in the game.
A dramatic fourth set saw the first four legs shared before Webster was first to a finish in the decider, but he missed six darts to claim the win as Wade hit double ten to keep the game alive.
The left-hander then took the opening two legs of the fifth set on his favourite double ten, but one missed dart for the match saw Webster take out a 65 finish to keep his hopes alive.
Wade held the advantage of throw in the fourth leg, and made it count as he recorded a 14-dart finish to cross the winning line and breath a sigh of relief.
1-0 - The world number six holds throw on his favourite double ten.
1-1 - Webster misses double 12 for a 141 checkout but returns to hit double six.
2-1 - Wade regains the lead with a 13-darter thanks to an accurate dart at double 12.
2-2 - Webster opens with a score of 174 and levels by hitting double top with his third dart.
3-2 - Wade hits double top to hold throw for a third consecutive time to win the set.
0-1 - Wade misses double seven for an 86 finish to break, and Webster takes out 66 to make a positive start to second set.
1-1 - The seven-time major winner hits double ten to draw level.
1-2 - Webster edges ahead by landing double top at the first time of asking.
2-2 - Wade hits double top for a clinical 110 finish to force a deciding leg.
2-3 - Webster produces consistent scoring to leave 81 after 12 darts, and he takes out the combination in two darts to seal the set.
1-0 - Wade holds throw to edge ahead of his opponent.
2-0 - The number six seed hits double top for a 108 checkout to secure the first break of throw in the match.
2-1 - Wade wastes two chances to win the set and Webster takes his opportunity by taking out a 70 finish.
2-2 - Webster takes out a 77 finish after Wade fails with two more attempts to win the set.
2-3 - Wade misses a fifth chance to win the set on double top, and Webster hits the same double to leave the world number six trailing 2-1.
0-1 - The Norwich ace holds throw to win a fourth leg on the trot.
1-1 - Wade stops the rot as he takes out a brilliant 141 checkout.
1-2 - Webster confidently takes out 68 in two darts to move a leg away from a fantastic win.
2-2 - Wade misses five shots at doubles before landing double five with his third dart.
3-2 - Webster looks on course for triumph as he leaves 40 after 12 darts, but the nerves tell as he misses six shots at doubles to end the contest - having hit 10/16 doubles up to that point in the game - and Wade hits double ten with a pressure third dart to keep his hopes alive.
1-0 - Wade hits double ten for the second leg running to make a good start to the decider.
2-0 - Wade posts a third 180 before Webster is off-target on the bullseye for a 161 checkoutm allowing the left-hander to return to hit double ten once again in breaking throw.
2-1 - The world number six is off-target on double top to win the game and Webster takes out 65, thanks to an accurate third dart at tops.
3-1 - Wade leaves 56 after 12 darts and hits double top at the first attempt to overcome a major scare.
WES NEWTON 3-1 TING CHI ROYDEN LAM
(3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-2)
WES NEWTON booked a second round clash against three-time World Champion John Part by defeating Ting Chi Royden Lam in four sets in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship on Thursday evening.
Newton started confidently by taking the opening two legs of the game before the Hong Kong ace hit back to force a deciding leg, which Newton claimed with an excellent 14-darter.
Newton cruised through the second set to move further ahead before Lam showed great character to win the third set 3-1, sealing the set with a 50 finish on the bullseye, showing some of the accuracy which has made him a star in the soft-tip format.
Newton moved 2-1 ahead in the fourth set, which included a 101 finish from the Fleetwood ace, before Lam won the fourth leg on double 16 to keep his hopes alive.
The world number eight, though. powered through the deciding leg with a clinical 12-dart finish to end Lam's brave challenge.
"I did the hard work and got two sets up but I lost a bit of focus and it became hard work from there," said Newton, who made his Premier League debut this year.
"I should have been more ruthless and got the job done in straight sets, so it's something for me to work on for future games, but I'm pleased with the way I closed it in the fourth set."
1-0 - Newton breaks throw immediately courtesy of a 71 finish.
2-0 - The Fleetwood ace hits double top at the first time of asking to move two legs up.
2-1 - Lam hits double five with an accuarte third dart to get a leg on the board.
2-2 - The Hong Kong ace draws level on double ten after Newton was guilty of missing three opportunities to win the set.
3-2 - Newton puts the loss of the last two legs behind him as he wins the set in style, by breaking throw with a 14-darter on double 16.
1-0 - Newton just misses the bullseye for a 170 checkout but returns to hit double eight.
2-0 - Lam misses two attempts at double 16 and Newton capitalises by hitting the same double to increase his lead.
3-0 - Newton records a third 180 before landing double 16 for a second leg running, to leave the Hong Kong star with a mountain to climb.
0-1 - The winning double proves elusive for both players as they miss six chances at doubles before Lam manages to hit double one to win his first leg in five.
0-2 - Lam hits a 180 before going on to hit double top for an excellent 14-dart finish.
1-2 - Newton regains his focus to win the third leg against the darts with a 104 finish.
1-3 - Newton is off-target with two attempts at doubles, and Lam hits the bullseye to take out 50 and win the set.
0-1 - The Hong Kong star hits double ten to break Newton's throw.
1-1 - Lam fails with two chances to win the leg and Newton hits double 16 to level.
2-1 - Newton hits double 16 to go a leg away from victory after Lam misses double eight for a 101 checkout.
2-2 - Lam keeps his hopes alive as he lands double 16 at the first time of asking.
3-2 - Newton powers to the finish line as he hits scores of 177, 134 and 121, before taking out a 69 finish on double top.
KEVIN PAINTER 3-0 TOMAS SEYLER
(3-1, 3-0, 3-0)
KEVIN PAINTER produced a ruthless display to defeat Germany's Tomas Seyler by a 3-0 margin to complete the first round of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
The 2004 runner-up dropped just one leg - the game's first - during the 21-minute contest, winning nine successive legs and hitting nine out of 11 attempts at doubles in an impressive opener as he averaged 98.59.
"I'm very pleased to have produced that kind of performance in the first round of the biggest tournament in the game," said the former Players Championship Finals winner, who will now face Paul Nicholson in an eye-catching second round clash.
"I think my display tonight has sent a message to a few of my doubters who felt I was on the slide, and I'm looking forward to producing more in the next round.
"Paul beat me in the group stages of the Grand Slam last month, but I really wasn't right during that event. He's going to have a much tougher opponent when we play on Sunday."
Seyler settled into the game well as he recorded a maximum with his first three darts of the contest in the process of taking the opening leg, before Painter won the next two legs, breaking throw in the third leg on double four.
Painter continued his clinical form on the doubles and sealed the second set comfortably, as he took out a 104 finish, to win his sixth leg in a row.
Seyler had no answer and Painter powered through the third set without reply from his opponent to end the game with an impressive 98.59 average.
0-1 - The German hits a brilliant 180 with his first three darts of the game and hits double six to settle any nerves.
1-1 - Painter draws level with a clinical 13-darter.
2-1 - Seyler misses two darts at double 16 and Painter punishes those errors by hitting double four.
3-1 - Painter hits double top at the first attempt to seal the first set.
1-0 - Painter continues his clinical form on the doubles as he lands double 16 at the first attempt.
2-0 - The former Players Championship Finals winner hits double eight to win a fifth leg in a row.
3-0 - Painter hits an excellent 104 finish to establish a two-set advantage.
1-0 - Painter registers a 180 but a missed dart at the bullseye gives Seyler a opportunity at an 80 finish, only for the German to fail with two attempts to win his second leg of the game as his opponent returns to post double eight.
2-0 - Painter hits scores of 180, 100 and 140 before taking out an 81 finish on the bullseye for a 12-darter.
3-0 - The number 13 seed rounds off the game with a clinical 72 finish, finishing on double top.
UPDATED TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Friday December 20 (7pm)
Peter Wright v Per Laursen
Raymond van Barneveld v Jamie Caven
Phil Taylor v Michael Smith
Saturday December 21 (7pm)
Andy Hamilton v Richie Burnett
Robert Thornton v Beau Anderson
Kim Huybrechts v 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
Monday December 23 (7pm)
James Wade v Andy Smith
Mervyn King v Ricky Evans
Adrian Lewis v Vincent van der Voort
Friday December 27
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Justin Pipe v Devon Petersen
Newton/Part v Thornton/B Anderson
Hamilton/Burnett v K Huybrechts/White
Evening Session (7pm)
Whitlock/Komula v Painter/Nicholson
Taylor/M Smith v Wright//Laursen
Henderson/M Webster v van Barneveld/Caven
Saturday December 28
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
A Lewis/van der Voort v King/Evans
Wade/A Smith v Pipe/Petersen
van Gerwen/McDine v Dolan/G Anderson
Evening Session (7pm)
Sunday December 29 (7pm)
Monday December 30 (7pm)
Wednesday January 1 (8pm)
Second Round - Best of seven sets
Third Round - Best of seven sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of nine sets
Semi-Finals - Best of 11 sets
Final - Best of 13 sets