William Hill Grand Slam of Darts - Sunday Afternoon Round-Up
Words courtsey of David Allen
TAYLOR DENIES DEBUTANT HUBBARD AS LEWIS EDGES OPENING WIN
PHIL TAYLOR began his bid to win a fourth William Hill Grand Slam title with a 5-1 win over teenage debutant James Hubbard on Sunday afternoon, while Adrian Lewis overcame a scare against Martin Phillips to open with a victory.
Taylor, who won the first three Grand Slam events before suffering a quarter-final loss to Steve Beaton last November, opened Group E with a comfortable victory over Hubbard.
The 19-year-old from Norfolk had qualified by reaching the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final last Friday, and after Taylor led 2-0 he won the third fourth leg to secure a chalk against the 15-time World Champion.
Taylor, though, proved too strong in the next two before punishing four missed doubles from the youngster to gain an opening victory.
"I'm happy with that because I didn't know how James would play, but he did well," said Taylor. "I'd watched him practising before the game and he should keep doing what he's doing because he'll settle down on stage and play his natural game.
"He's dedicated and he's got a big future ahead of him."
Hubbard, who left with the match dartboard and Taylor's darts as a memento of his televised debut, admitted: "I was nervous beforehand but once the first leg was out of the way I settle down.
"Everyone in darts looks up to Phil because of what he's achieved and it's been a dream for me to play him in my first TV game. I was disappointed to miss a few doubles in the final leg but it was a good experience for me."
Taylor will now face Steve Beaton on Monday night, after the former World Champion defeated Mervyn King 5-3 in their Group E contest.
Reigning PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis edged out Welshman Martin Phillips 5-4 in a tight opener to Group H, from which Co Stompe won the all-Dutch clash with Vincent van der Voort 5-3.
Lewis has never won past the last 16 in Wolverhampton, but said: "Martin beat me last year with a 104 average and he played brilliantly again, so I'm happy to get over the line.
"I was a little bit inconsistent but getting the win was the most important thing and I've done that. I can relax now and look forward to playing Co on Monday.
Former World Champions Mark Webster and John Part set up a tasty meeting in Monday's second matches after they overcame Arron Monk and Jan Dekker respectively in their Group G openers.
Paul Nicholson had opened Sunday afternoon's play with a whitewash of Welshman Barrie Bates in Group F, and now plays Wes Newton on Monday after the UK Open finalist came from 2-0 down to defeat Swedish Wildcard Qualifier Magnus Caris 5-2.
Sunday's evening session sees Groups A-D play their second games, with Saturday night's winners clashing and the losers also meeting - with former World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Ted Hankey facing off in a game which could see either eliminated from the event.
William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 13
Groups E-H First Games
Paul Nicholson 5-0 Barrie Bates (F)
Wes Newton 5-2 Magnus Caris (F)
Mark Webster 5-4 Arron Monk (G)
Vincent van der Voort 3-5 Co Stompe (H)
Mervyn King 3-5 Steve Beaton (E)
Phil Taylor 5-1 James Hubbard (E)
Adrian Lewis 5-4 Martin Phillips (H)
Jan Dekker 2-5 John Part (G)
Evening Session (8pm)
Groups A-D Second Games
Terry Jenkins v Dave Chisnall (D)
Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan (C)
Scott Waites v Tony O'Shea (A)
Dean Winstanley v Ian White (B)
Raymond van Barneveld v Ted Hankey (B)
James Wade v Justin Pipe (D)
Wayne Jones v Nigel Heydon (C)
Mark Walsh v Michael van Gerwen (A)
PAUL NICHOLSON 5-0 BARRIE BATES
PAUL NICHOLSON made an impressive start to his William Hill Grand Slam of Darts campaign with a whitewash victory over Welshman Barrie Bates in just 13 minutes.
Nicholson, making his third appearance in Wolverhampton, will now face Wes Newton in eye-catching encounter on Monday evening.
"My one goal is to get through the group stage," said Nicholson. "I've set my stall out to win all three group matches.
"Last year I managed to win two games but it didn't prove to be enough to make it through to the knock-out phase."
He added: "I decided not to go to Benidorm and spent a bit more time at home before coming here. I think it was a wise decision as I feel fresh and ready for this event."
The Chorley-based thrower hit a 180 in the process of taking the opening leg and then broke his opponent's throw with an accurate attempt at double four to make an ideal start to the contest.
Nicholson hit another maximum in the third leg which was won with another successful dart at double four before hitting back-to-back maximums in the next.
That left the opportunity of a nine-dart finish, but the chance went begging when Nicholson's attempt at a seventh successive treble 20 was too high.
However, the leg was comfortably won in ten darts and the fifth soon followed as he hit double eight to round off a comfortable win.
WES NEWTON 5-2 MAGNUS CARIS
WES NEWTON recovered from a stuttering start to defeat Magnus Caris 5-2 in his opening Group F contest at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.
The world number seven, who has failed to win past the group stages in his previous two appearances at the Wolverhampton Civic, fell 2-0 behind before putting together a run of five successive winning legs.
Caris made a confident start on his Grand Slam debut, winning the first leg with a 79 finish before hitting double eight to secure a break of throw in the second after Newton missed a dart at double 19 to level.
The Swede was guilty of missing four darts at doubles for a 3-0 lead which allowed Newton to steal the third leg on double 16, and the Fleetwood ace levelled the match when he hit double 12 to win the fourth.
The fifth leg was finely balanced before Newton hit a 177 followed by an 80 finish to lead the match for the first time.
That gave Newton the momentum, but Caris held the advantage in the sixth only to miss three darts at doubles as and Newton took a fourth leg in a row by landing double two with his third dart.
Newton was now in command and he kicked off leg seven with a 180 and won the leg in 13 darts to confirm victory in his opening group match.
MARK WEBSTER 5-4 ARRON MONK
MARK WEBSTER held off a brave challenge from Arron Monk to edge a high-quality opening game of Group G at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.
The 2008 Lakeside Champion built up a 3-1 lead only to see Monk level the match before coming through in a deciding leg.
Webster held throw with an impressive 111 checkout to start the match but Monk replied to take the second with an accurate attempt at double top.
The 21-year-old then hit a maximum in the third leg, only to see Webster win it by hitting tops at the first time of asking.
Webster then hit a 13-darter to break, but Monk immediately replied by hitting double top to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Monk, the Under-21 World Champion making his second appearance in Wolverhampton, hit double top once again to level at three-all before Webster regained the lead with a 15-dart finish.
That put the Welshman one leg away from victory, but the Basingstoke youngster held his nerve to hit double two and force a deciding leg.
Webster held the advantage of throw and he kicked-off with a 140 score to help get to a finish first, and he slotted home double six to record victory.
"I expected Arron to play well today," said Webster. "That was a good game to be involved in and it feels good to come out on top.
"I've been playing well in the major tournaments and I feel that my form is coming good at the business end of the year."
CO STOMPE 5-3 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT
CO STOMPE came out on top in the battle of the Dutchman courtesy of a 5-3 triumph over Vincent van der Voort at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.
Stompe had established a 3-1 lead in the early stages of the game and managed to keep that advantage to make a winning start in Group H.
Van der Voort won the opening leg against the darts by hitting double eight, but Stompe won the second to break back and then took the third by hitting double top.
That gave Stompe a 2-1 lead and he then increased that by winning the fourth leg in style with a 121 checkout on the bullsye.
Stompe moved three legs clear by hitting double two, but van der Voort continued to fight by hitting a 13-dart finish to win leg six.
Van der Voort then won the seventh against the darts with an excellent 101 finish to reduce the deficit to one leg before Stompe kicked off the next leg with back-to-back maximums.
The attempt at the seventh treble 20 fell below the target but the leg was won in 11 darts, completed on double top, to get the two points.
"I've had a terrible year since winning the World Cup of Darts with Raymond van Barneveld," admitted Stompe.
"My form is starting to come back again though and I reached two semi-finals in Crawley last weekend, which was a real confidence boost for me."
STEVE BEATON 5-3 MERVYN KING
STEVE BEATON came out on top against Mervyn King with a 5-3 victory in the opening contest of Group E at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.
Beaton, who enjoyed a superb run to the semi-finals last year, was 3-2 down to King but managed to string together three legs on the spin to come away with the points.
"I thought I'd blown it when I missed all those chances to go 2-0 ahead," admitted Beaton.
"Mervyn went off the boil slightly after the opening four legs and I stepped in and took my chance."
Beaton hit a 174 score with his first visit to the oche and the first leg in 13 darts but was guilty of missing six opportunities to double his lead, which allowed King to level.
King then took the lead for the first time by winning the third leg with an accomplished 13-dart finish.
The fourth saw King miss double 12 for a 141 checkout and Beaton took out a pressure 66 finish to level the match at two-all.
King converted a 90 finish to lead again, but Beaton won the sixth leg on double 14 to complete a 14-darter and keep matters finely balanced.
Beaton managed to win the seventh leg against the darts with an excellent 84 finish on the bullseye and then closed out the game in the next leg by hitting double 14 for a second time.
PHIL TAYLOR 5-1 JAMES HUBBARD
PHIL TAYLOR recorded victory in his opening match of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-1 victory against 19-year-old James Hubbard.
Hubbard, the son of former professional Vic, was making his televised debut and produced some impressive darts on the big stage.
Taylor started the match by winning the opening leg on double 16 and the three-time Grand Slam champion repeated the trick to double his lead and put the youngster immediately under pressure with legs of 13 and 14 darts.
The third leg saw Taylor miss three chances to take a 3-0 lead and Hubbard managed to finish double one with his last dart to get a leg on the board.
Taylor soon restored his two-leg advantage by breaking throw to win the fourth before Hubbard hit three consecutive 140s in the next.
The 19-year-old - who sealed a place in this competition by reaching the final of the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship - failed to replicate that scoring into a finishing opportunity and Taylor took out 68 to lead 4-1.
The fifth leg saw Hubbard again show some impressive scoring but he missed four darts to keep the match alive and Taylor once again punished the youngster by taking out 84, hitting double 11 with his last dart.
"James was difficult to beat today," admitted Taylor. "He produced some consistent scoring and I think he will give Mervyn King a real battle tomorrow night.
"I didn't know how James would play, but he did well. I'd watched him practising before the game and he should keep doing what he's doing because he'll settle down on stage and play his natural game. He's dedicated and he's got a big future ahead of him."
After his first televised match Hubbard, revealed, "I was very nervous coming out but on to the stage but I felt much better once I was on stage and throwing my darts."
ADRIAN LEWIS 5-4 MARTIN PHILLIPS
ADRIAN LEWIS made a winning start to the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a nail-biting 5-4 victory over Martin Phillips.
Lewis had lost to the Welshman in last year's group stages but gained revenge this time around in a match where he hit five maximums.
The reigning PDC World Champion came out of the blocks superbly as he hit a 180 with his first three darts of the match before taking the opening leg with a 79 finish.
Phillips replied with an excellent 14-dart finish, but Lewis regained the lead by taking the third leg with the aid of back-to-back maximums.
The Welshman, making his second appearance at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall won the fourth leg with another 14-darter and then took the lead for the first time by hitting a pressure double eight with his last dart.
The world number two did not let that setback faze him as he hit double two and double nine to take the next two legs and go within touching distance of victory.
Lewis hit his fifth maximum of the match in the next leg, but Phillips was first to a finish and hit double 18 at the first time of asking to break throw and set up a deciding leg.
Lewis produced the better scoring in the decider and managed to hit a pressure double ten, with his opponent waiting on a two-darter, to end a high-quality encounter.
JOHN PART 5-2 JAN DEKKER
JOHN PART recorded victory in his opening match of Group G in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-2 triumph over debutant Jan Dekker.
The Canadian was coasting at 3-0 before the Dutchman hit- ack to win the next two legs and reduce the arrears to one leg before Part won the next two to take victory.
Part hit a 74 finish to break throw at the start of the match and then managed to take the second after Dekker missed several chances to level.
Dekker missed another opportunity at a double in the third leg, allowing Part to extend his advantage.
Part, who has enjoyed a resurgence of form in 2011, missed four darts at double to take a 4-0 lead and Dekker capitalised by taking out 86 to get a leg on the board.
The Lakeside Championship semi-finalist then hit a 171 to leave tops in the fifth leg which he duly hit at the first time of asking to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
The Canadian stemmed the tide in the sixth leg with the aid of his second 180 in a 15-darter, which was followed by a 118 checkout to seal the match in emphatic fashion.