William Hill Grand Slam - Sunday evening round-up
PHIL TAYLOR, Simon Whitlock, Michael van Gerwen and Mervyn King put one foot into the second round of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with their second wins of the tournament on Sunday night, as 2010 champion Scott Waites reignited his challenge in Wolverhampton.
Reigning champion Taylor followed up Saturday's Group A win over Co Stompe at the Wolves Civic with a 5-2 win against Mark Webster 24 hours later.
The 15-time World Champion took out 108 as he won three of the first four legs to take command against the Welsh left-hander, before punishing four misses from Webster to seal victory with double 14.
"It was a difficult game tonight and I'm happy with that," said Taylor. "Mark could have taken advantage of me there but he missed a couple of doubles.
"I'm not going to go up there on Tuesday thinking that I'm through, because I'm not, and I'll practice hard and get ready to play Scott on Tuesday. I'll try put him under pressure from the beginning because he's got to win."
Taylor will qualify for the second round should he win three legs on Tuesday against 2010 Grand Slam champion Scott Waites, who bounced back from Saturday's loss to Webster with a superb performance to see off Stompe with a 103 average.
"It was quite good tonight and it was a nice win," said Waites. "Tonight I got off to a good start and then kept it going, which was really good.
"You've got more of a chance of beating Phil Taylor over a short format and I'm looking forward to our game on Tuesday, and hopefully I can get an upset."
Australian ace Whitlock, the European Champion, won his second successive Group C game, although he was pushed all the way by Kevin Painter before edging a 5-4 victory.
Painter hit back from two legs down to level before the pair traded legs through to a decider, but the Englishman crucially missed a dart at double eight for the match - which would have seen him qualify for the last 16 - as Whitlock stepped in to land double four.
"Kevin's very tough to play, he's a very good player and that was too close for my liking!" said Whitlock, who now plays Dean Winstanley on Tuesday night.
"Luckily he missed the 96 and I got another shot, but I'm still not safe. I know I've got to have a good game on Tuesday against Dean, and if I don't win I need to at least get close to get through."
Winstanley was in superb finishing form as he hit five doubles from as many attempts as he overcame World Youth Champion James Hubbard 5-2.
"That's put me back in the race!" said Winstanley. "We both knew we had to win this game to give us a shout and I'll fight right to the end.
"I love it up on that stage but I'm too soft and I need to be more aggressive, in a nice way. Playing Simon could bring that out of me, because he a fantastic player and we've had three good games this year and he's 2-1 up - so far!"
World Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen, meanwhile, remains unbeaten in Group B after defeating Robert Thornton 5-3 in their contest, with the UK Open winner pulling back from 3-0 down to level before the Dutchman sealed the win.
"I started very well but missed three darts to lead 4-0 and a missed a few more doubles after that and made it hard for myself," said van Gerwen, who now plays Ted Hankey on Tuesday needing just two legs to qualify for the knockout stage.
"I'm very happy I won and I'm glad I've got two out of two. It's a big step for me and I can concentrate now on Tuesday night."
Hankey bounced back from Saturday's loss to Thornton with a superb 5-3 win over Steve Beaton, hitting a 161 checkout and four 180s in a strong display.
"That's the first time in 25 years that I've beaten Steve but I went up there and just played darts," said Hankey. "I'm really grateful for some support I got from some fellow players last night who told me to go up there and play my natural game.
"I'm so happy because I think I've found the rhythm I need to push me on not just for this week but also for the next 12 months.
"I've been trying to do things to upset players, slow them down or manipulate them, but I've found my natural rhythm and I think that can get me to where I want to be."
Mervyn King, last month's World Grand Prix runner-up, remains unbeaten following two games in Group D, after defeating former World Youth Champion Arron Monk 5-3 and now needs just three legs from his third group game, against James Wade, to qualify.
"It wasn't my best performance but it was workmanlike and I knew Arron was hungry for it," said King. "He kept coming back at me and eventually I shook him off, but it took a 12-darter to do it!
"I'll be looking to get as many legs against James as I can. If I can get five, then great, if not then I hope it's four, but I'm looking for the win."
2010 runner-up Wade now plays King in their final round-robin game, after the PDC world number three defeated Holland's Jan Dekker 5-1 in their second game of the league stage.
"I'm pleased to have got the job done tonight and to get two points on the board," said Wade, the PDC world number three. "The performance tonight wasn't a million miles away from I can do, and I really enjoyed it."
Monday night sees Groups E-H play their second round-robin games, with the night featuring the eagerly-awaited clash between current Lakeside Champion Christian Kist and five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, the Dutch pair who will be playing for the first time.
Reigning PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis meets Canadian great John Part in a key Group E contest, with 2011 Grand Slam finalist Gary Anderson playing Tony O'Shea in the other game.
William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 11
Groups A-D Second Games
Scott Waites 5-1 Co Stompe (A)
Ted Hankey 5-3 Steve Beaton (B)
James Wade 5-1 Jan Dekker (D)
Dean Winstanley 5-2 James Hubbard (C)
Mervyn King 5-3 Arron Monk (D)
Phil Taylor 5-2 Mark Webster (A)
Simon Whitlock 5-4 Kevin Painter (C)
Michael van Gerwen 5-3 Robert Thornton (B)
Monday November 12 (7pm)
Groups E-H Second Games
Mark Walsh v Wayne Jones (H)
Terry Jenkins v Martin Phillips (G)
Paul Nicholson v Barrie Bates (F)
Adrian Lewis v John Part (E)
Andy Hamilton v Brendan Dolan (F)
Gary Anderson v Tony O'Shea (E)
Christian Kist v Raymond van Barneveld (H)
Wes Newton v Wesley Harms (G)
Name Pl W L +/- Pts
Phil Taylor 2 2 0 +7 4
Scott Waites 2 1 1 +2 2
Mark Webster 2 1 1 -1 2
Co Stompe 2 0 2 -8 0
Name Pl W L +/- Pts
Michael van Gerwen 2 2 0 +5 4
Robert Thorton 2 1 1 +3 2
Ted Hankey 2 1 1 -3 2
Steve Beaton 2 0 2 -5 0
Name Pl W L +/- Pts
Simon Whitlock 2 2 0 +4 4
Dean Winstanley 2 1 1 +2 2
Kevin Painter 2 1 1 0 2
James Hubbard 2 0 2 -6 0
Name Pl W L +/- Pts
Mervyn King 2 2 0 +6 4
Arron Monk 2 1 1 +2 2
James Wade 2 1 1 0 2
Co Stompe 2 0 2 -8 0
Scott Waites v Co Stompe
1-0 - Stompe hits a score of 171 but a missed attempt at bullseye allows Waites to hit double eight to hold throw.
1-1 - The Dutchman lands double top with his first dart to level the match.
2-1 - Stompe kicks off the leg with a 180 only for Waites to hit one of his own and win the leg with a 100 finish.
3-1 - Waites hits his second 180 of the game and wins the leg in 13 darts to break throw.
4-1 - The 2010 champion continues the good form by taking the fifth leg in just 12 darts, completed with an 81 finish.
5-1 - Waites records a 15-dart finish by landing double 12 with his third dart to claim the two points.
Scott Waites: "I felt good tonight and a 5-1 win against anybody in this competition is good. I know that I have to beat Phil Taylor on Tuesday night to qualify. I won't put any pressure on myself and hopefully I can cause an upset."
Ted Hankey v Steve Beaton
1-0 - Beaton misses five darts at doubles and Hankey secures an early break of throw by hitting tops.
2-0 - A confident looking Hankey starts the leg with a 180 before going on to win it in 13-darts.
3-0 - Hankey wins the third leg with a fabulous 161 checkout to leave Beaton with a mountain to climb.
3-1 - Scores of 180 and 140 put Hankey in command but five missed darts at doubles allow Beaton in to hit double 16.
3-2 - Beaton reduces the gap to one leg as he wins the fifth in 14 darts, completed with a 70 finish.
4-2 - Beaton is off-target with a dart at double ten to level the match and Hankey hits double 12 to move one leg away from victory.
4-3 - The 1996 World Champion keeps the match alive by landing double five.
5-3 - Hankey hits back-to-back 180s to take charge of the leg. The nine-darter is not to be, but the two-time World Champion hits the winning double to secure two vital points.
Ted Hankey: "I played my natural game tonight and that was much better. I feel that this the way I should continue and I feel that I'll have more success. It's the first time i've beaten Steve in 25 years, so it's a big win for me."
James Wade v Jan Dekker
1-0 - Wade holds throw by hitting double four at the first attempt.
1-1 - Dekker levels the match with an impressive 13-dart finish.
2-1 - Wade hits a 13-darter of his own to regain the lead.
3-1 - Wade makes Dekker pay for missed dart at double 18 by landing double ten to secure a break of throw.
4-1 - Wade hits a brace of 140 scores and hits double ten for the second leg running to move closer to victory.
5-1 - A failed attempt at double four from Dekker allows Wade an opportunity to win the match which he duly converts by hitting double top.
James Wade: "I'm pleased to have got the job done tonight. I hit my doubles unlike last night against Arron and it's good to get two points on the board. I'm gently building back together again and feel pretty relaxed at the moment."
Dean Winstanley v James Hubbard
1-0 - Winstanley wins the first leg on tops.
2-0 - Hubbard misses double 12 for a 141 checkout and Winstanley lands tops for the second leg running.
3-0 - Winstanley holds throw to leave Hubbard under severe pressure.
3-1 - Hubbard hits the first 180 of the game and converts 100 finish in two darts.
3-2 - Hubbard leaves 81 after nine darts thrown and goes on to hit double eight to get back into the match.
4-2 - Winstanley moves a leg away from the win with a 100 checkout, which he completes with two double tops.
5-2 - Winstanley secures victory by hitting double 11 for an 84 finish with Hubbard waiting on tops.
Dean Winstanley: "There was a lot of pressure on me and James tonight and I'm glad I came out the winner. It will be a big game against Simon Whitlock on Tuesday night and I will fight hard as I don't want to go home yet."
Mervyn King v Arron Monk
0-1 - Monk makes a good start to the match by holding throw comfortably.
1-1 - King hits double eight to level the match.
2-1 - Monk is made to pay for a missed dart at tops as King hits the same bed to lead the match.
3-1 - King registers a 15-darter with the aid of a 90 finish.
3-2 - Monk converts an excellent 126 checkout on the bullseye.
4-2 - King hits a 102 finish with Monk waiting on 28 to move a leg away from his second win.
4-3 - King fires in a 180 but Monk is to a finsh first and takes out 65 in two darts.
5-3 - King hits a trio of 140 scores and takes out 81 by landing double 12 with his third dart to end the contest.
Mervyn King: "It wasn't my best performance but the most important thing was to get two more points and that takes the pressure of a lot. Arron's very hungry for success and a cracking player so I was pleased with the 99 average."
Phil Taylor v Mark Webster
1-0 - Taylor hits a 180 with his first three darts and goes on to win the leg with a 108 finish.
2-0 - Webster is made to pay for a missed dart at double five as Taylor lands double six to break throw.
2-1 - Webster gets his first leg on the board with a superb 11-dart finish.
3-1 - The defending champion restores his two leg lead by converting a 71 finish.
3-2 - Webster lands double ten to keep in the hunt with Taylor waiting on 16.
4-2 - Taylor hits double eight to move a leg away from triumph.
5-2 - Webster hits scores of 180, 100 and 140 to take command of the leg, but four missed darts at doubles prove costly as Taylor hits double 14 to confirm victory.
Phil Taylor: "It was a tough game tonight and I think we had a bit too much respect for eachother. I've got the two points which is most important thing. Mark's had an unlucky year but he's on the way back again. I won't take my foot of the gas against Scott in my last game and I want to win the group."
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter
1-0 - Whitlock hits tops to hold throw and claim the opening leg.
2-0 - The Australian breaks by taking out a 96 finish in two darts.
2-1 - Whitlock misses tops for a 3-0 lead and Painter hits a 103 checkout to reduce the deficit.
2-2 - Painter hits double ten with his third dart to level the game at two apiece.
3-2 - Whitlock misses two darts at double 15, but Painter is unable to capitalise as he is off-target with two darts at tops to allow the Aussie to return and hit double 15 to regain the lead.
3-3 - Painter wins the sixth leg with the aid of a 180 to leave matters finely balanced.
4-3 - Whitock moves a leg away from the win as he records his second maximum of the game.
4-4 - Painter confidently takes out 116 finish to set up a deciding leg.
5-4 - A dramatic deciding leg sees Whitlock miss three chances to win the match, but Painter off-target with one attempt at double eight for a 96 finish and Whitlock to hit double four to end a tight contest.
Simon Whitlock: "That was a very close game. Kevin's a great player and tough to play and when I left him the chance of taking out 96 I felt I had let things slip away. I'm glad to get two wins out of two and I'm looking forward to play Dean Winstanley on Tuesday. He beat me the first time we played but I've had the better of things on the last two occasions."
Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton
1-0 - van Gerwen just misses the bullseye for a 170 checkout, but returns to hit double eight at the first attempt.
2-0 - The World Grand Prix champion breaks Thornton's throw by landing double ten with his third dart.
3-0 - Thornton is just off-target with one dart at tops and van Gerwen steps in to hit the same bed to take command of the game.
3-1 - van Gerwen misses four darts at double top and Thornton hits the bullseye to convert a 90 finish.
3-2 - Thornton holds throw courtesy of an accurate attempt at double 13 to reduce the gap to one leg.
3-3 - The Scotsman wins his third leg in a row with a clinical two-dart 66 finish.
4-3 - Thornton misses one dart at the bullseye and van Gerwen hits double 16 at the first attempt to lead for a second time.
5-3 - van Gerwen hits a 174 but misses double 16 to give Thornton a chance. However, the Scotsman drops short with his attempt at double top and van Gerwen returns to hit double eight to win the match.
Michael van Gerwen: "I started the match very well by taking the first three legs, but after I missed chances to move 4-0 ahead I started to make things difficult for myself. I managed to get the win though and I'm pleased to have two wins from my two games so far."