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Stuart Dalgleish 31st Dec 2014 - 14:36

William Hill World Darts Championship - Tue eve round-up

A STUNNING nine-dart finish from Adrian Lewis was not enough to help him defeat Raymond van Barneveld in a third round thriller at the William Hill World Darts Championship on Tuesday, as Phil Taylor and Stephen Bunting joined him in the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace.
Lewis landed his second World Championship nine-darter - and his third on television - with a brilliant perfect leg to claim the deciding leg of the opening set against van Barneveld.
Having also landed a nine-darter in the 2011 final as he claimed the title, Lewis matched that achievement with two 180s and a 141 finish of treble 20, treble 19 and double 12.
However, he was left to rue one missed match dart - at double seven for a 4-2 triumph - as van Barneveld firstly saved the game by taking the sixth set before winning the decider 3-1 to remain on course for his sixth World Championship title.
"What a game," said van Barneveld. "The first set was probably the best I've played so far - when Adie got the nine-darter I was just thinking I had to hold on.
"When it went to 3-3 I had to keep believing and I saw Adie was struggling a bit with his trebles so I needed one big push then.
"I just had to hang on, had to keep believing and fighting because you just can't ever give up. I just had to wait for my chance and when it finally came in that last set then I knew I had to take it.
"But it was such a hard match, these matches don't get any easier and I seem to be involved in more and more tough matches."
The nine-darter sees Lewis in line for a £10,000 bonus, while sponsors William Hill will now donate £9,000 each to the PDC's official charity, Haven House Children's Hospice, and Parkinson's UK, who are supported by Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark.
Lewis, though, admitted: "I'm gutted. I hit the nine-darter to win the first set and then came back on and had another nine-darter in the break, and then I started panicking a bit.
"I'd hit two back-to-back and thought I could turn him over 4-0 and it didn't happen. It's my own fault for missing shots - I missed the 88 to win the match and wired double seven, and I'm just disappointed with myself.
"I started panicking around doubles where normally I'm a lot more fluent on them. I'm just annoyed - I thought this was my year."
Phil Taylor's bid to win a 17th World Championship continued as he hit back from 3-2 down to defeat Kim Huybrechts in a seven-set thriller.
Taylor set up a last eight clash with Vincent van der Voort after survivng an extreme test from Huybrechts, who led 3-2 in sets and left waiting on 36 in the sixth set's decider as the Stoke great levelled before showing his class in the final set.
The 16-time World Champion hit four 180s and averaged 102.52 despite using a new set of darts for the first time in competition - following the addition of an extra groove at the rear of his barrel - but was pushed all the way by the Belgian, who averaged 96.93 and took out some pressure checkouts against his illustrious opponent.
"I'm speechless - I had to fight all the way in that one," said Taylor. "I'm sure it was a good game to watch, and although I struggled at times I never thought I was going out.
"The 96 in the last set was a massive shot, that was the one that really did all the damage. I'm through and I can go prepare for Vincent van der Voort because he's a very good player."
Stephen Bunting was the winner in the night's final third round game, which almost proved as dramatic as the preceding two as Michael Smith fought back from three sets down to almost force a decider, before the Lakeside Champion progressed.
Smith took out five ton-plus finishes, including checkouts of 170 and 161, and also landed eight 180s in a thriller, but left himself too much to do as Bunting averaged 102.30.
"I knew I had to get out of the blocks pretty fast and I did that," admitted Bunting. "I got the lead but I knew Michael is a never-say-die player - I watched his game against Brendan Dolan when he was two sets up and let it slip and I had it in the back of my mind just not to do the same.
"Michael is a really good friend and I'm really sad to see him go home but at the same time I'm really happy to be in the quarter-finals."
He added: "I know I've got the game to win this title, and if I bring my best darts to the big stage I can beat anyone, I've proved it this year so I know I can do it, and to win the PDC World Championship would be the ultimate in darts. It's always been a dream to be here and to be in the quarter-finals is amazing."
Following a break for New Year's Eve, the tournament resumes on Thursday January 1 with the two quarter-finals from the top half of the draw, with reigning champion Michael van Gerwen playing Robert Thornton before former finalists Peter Wright and Gary Anderson clash in an all-Scottish battle.
Taylor's quarter-final with Vincent van der Voort kicks off the action on Friday January 2, before van Barneveld and Bunting face off for a place in the semi-finals.
Taylor remains the favourite to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 4, with sponsors William Hill making him 11/8 to win his 17th World Championship title.
Van Gerwen is a 9/4 chance to retain his title, with world number four Anderson the 9/2 third favourite and Bunting now 8/1 to cap his debut at Alexandra Palace with glory.
Van Barneveld is rated at 11/1 to win a sixth World Championship title, with 2014 runner-up Wright 16/1, former UK Open champion Thornton a 33/1 chance and van der Voort the 50/1 outsider.
William Hill Tournament Odds
11/8 Phil Taylor
9/4 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Gary Anderson
8/1 Stephen Bunting
11/1 Raymond van Barneveld
16/1 Peter Wright
33/1 Robert Thornton
50/1 Vincent van der Voort
(EW 1/3 1,2)
To Hit A Nine-Darter
Evens - One
8/11 - Two or more
(Current total one)
WILLIAM HILL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Tuesday December 30
Evening Session
Adrian Lewis 3-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 4-3 Kim Huybrechts
Stephen Bunting 4-2 Michael Smith
Quarter-Finals
Thursday January 1 (7pm)
Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Friday January 2 (7pm)
Phil Taylor v Vincent van der Voort
Stephen Bunting v Raymond van Barneveld
Best of nine sets
MATCH INFORMATION
ADRIAN LEWIS 3-4 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
(3-2, 2-3, 3-1, 2-3, 3-0, 2-3, 1-3)
ADRIAN LEWIS hit the first nine-darter of this year's William Hill World Darts Championship but it was not enough to stop him falling to a thrilling 4-3 defeat against Raymond van Barneveld in an epic third round encounter.
Lewis landed his second World Championship nine-darter - and his third on television - with a brilliant perfect leg to claim the deciding leg of the opening set against van Barneveld.
Having also landed a nine-darter in the 2011 final as he claimed the title, Lewis matched that achievement with two 180s and a 141 finish of treble 20, treble 19 and double 12.
However, he was left to rue one missed match dart - at double seven for a 4-2 triumph - as van Barneveld firstly saved the game by taking the sixth set before winning the decider 3-1 to remain on course for his sixth World Championship title.
"What a game," said van Barneveld. "The first set was probably the best I've played so far - when Adie got the nine-darter I was just thinking I had to hold on.
"When it went to 3-3 I had to keep believing and I saw Adie was struggling a bit with his trebles so I needed one big push then.
"I just had to hang on, had to keep believing and fighting because you just can't ever give up. I just had to wait for my chance and when it finally came in that last set then I knew I had to take it.
"But it was such a hard match, these matches don't get any easier and I seem to be involved in more and more tough matches."
The nine-darter sees Lewis in line for a £10,000 bonus, while sponsors William Hill will now donate £9,000 each to the PDC's official charity, Haven House Children's Hospice, and Parkinson's UK, who are supported by Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark.
Lewis, though, admitted: "I'm gutted. I hit the nine-darter to win the first set and then came back on and had another nine-darter in the break, and then I started panicking a bit.
"I'd hit two back-to-back and thought I could turn him over 4-0 and it didn't happen. It's my own fault for missing shots - I missed the 88 to win the match and wired double seven, and I'm just disappointed with myself.
"I started panicking around doubles where normally I'm a lot more fluent on them. I'm just annoyed - I thought this was my year."
Match Information
First Set 3-2 - ADRIAN LEWIS HITS NINE-DART FINISH! A brilliant opening set concludes with a nine-darter from Lewis to take the deciding leg. After sharing the opening two legs, a 14-darter moves Lewis ahead before van Barneveld levels with a 72 finish - but the Stoke ace has the final say with his perfect leg, landing two 180s and finishing 141 with treble 20, treble 19 and double 12.
Second Set 2-3 - Lewis lands a 180 in the opening leg, but fails to finish 43 as van Barneveld takes out 104 to take the lead. Lewis lands another maximum in a 12-darter and the pair trade the next two before the deciding leg goes to van Barneveld in 13 darts.
Third Set 3-1 - The opening two legs go against the throw before Lewis holds on tops, before taking the set with a superb 12-darter.
Fourth Set 2-3 - A 180 helps van Barneveld to the first leg before Lewis lands a maximum of his own to level, and the Dutchman's 14-darter to move himself 2-1 up is bettered by the number three seed taking out 157 for a 12-darter to level - only to then miss three darts to claim the set in the decider as van Barneveld finishes double four to level the contest again.
Fifth Set 3-0 - Lewis takes the opening leg in 14 darts and breaks in leg two before punishing misses from van Barneveld in the third to take the set without reply.
Sixth Set 2-3 - The set goes with the throw in all five legs as van Barneveld follows an earlier 76 checkout by finishing a 13-darter in the decider.
Seventh Set 1-3 - Lewis fires in a maximum to take the opening leg, but van Barneveld finishes 68 to level and 78 for a 14-darter to break before firing in a 180 and double ten to claim a remarkable victory.
PHIL TAYLOR 4-3 KIM HUYBRECHTS
(1-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-0, 0-3, 3-2, 3-0)
Phil Taylor's bid to win a 17th World Championship continued as he hit back from 3-2 down to defeat Kim Huybrechts in a seven-set thriller at the William Hill World Darts Championship on Tuesday.
Taylor set up a last eight clash with Vincent van der Voort after survivng an extreme test from Huybrechts, who led 3-2 in sets and left waiting on 36 in the sixth set's decider as the Stoke great levelled before showing his class in the final set.
The 16-time World Champion hit four 180s and averaged 102.52 despite using a new set of darts for the first time in competition - following the addition of an extra groove at the rear of his barrel - but was pushed all the way by the Belgian, who averaged 96.93 and took out some pressure checkouts against his illustrious opponent.
The opening set saw Huybrechts open with a 14-darter which was bettered by Taylor's 13-dart leg, but the Belgian moved 2-1 up with a 13-darter of his own - which featured a 174 score - and then broke with a 78 finish in leg four for another 14-dart leg and the lead.
Checkouts of 73 and 66 kept him in the second set, but Taylor took the decider to level matters with a 14-dart finish on tops, only for the number 18 seed to come from 2-1 down in the third with a brace of 14-dart legs as he moved 2-1 up in sets.
Taylor opened set four with a brilliant ten-dart leg and added legs of 14 and 15 darts to square the contest once more, only to see Huybrechts take set five in the same manner, opening with a 12-darter which featured a 126 checkout, breaking throw with a 104 finish and taking out double 16 to move 3-2 ahead.
Taylor's 14-darter to kick off set six was followed by a 180 and double four from Huybrechts to level, with the number two seed then firing in an 11-dart leg to move 2-1 up. Huybrechts levelled to move a leg away from the win and left 36 in the deciding leg, but Taylor took out tops as he edged the set and forced a decider.
In typical style, Taylor opened a 12-dart leg with a 171 score and a 96 finish as he broke to lead in the decider, added a 177 in the second and then took the third with a superb 13-darter as he secured a hard-fought victory.
"I'm speechless - I had to fight all the way in that one," said Taylor. "I'm sure it was a good game to watch, and although I struggled at times I never thought I was going out.
"The 96 in the last set was a massive shot, that was the one that really did all the damage. I'm through and I can go prepare for Vincent van der Voort because he's a very good player."
Huybrechts added: "I felt like I was the better player, I played really well. I played my hardest and gave Phil a good game but it just wasn't enough.
"I'll keep trying hard, and I'm proud and happy that I played really well. Phil's been up there many times before and it's new to me but I gave it a really good go and I pushed him all the way to the end.
"I never got a shot to win it but I kept going all the way and I'll keep going and working hard to get better."
Match Information
First Set 1-3 - Superb start from Huybrechts, who takes the first set 3-1. After landing double eight for a 14-darter to start, Huybrechts then trades 13-darters with Taylor on tops before finishing 78 for a 14-darter to claim the set.
Second Set 3-2 - Taylor opens with a 14-darter, with finishes of 73 and 66 from Huybrechts coming either side of a Taylor 13-darter before the Stoke ace takes the decider with a 14-dart finish.
Third Set 2-3 - Huybrechts opens with an awkward double 19, but Taylor levels then takes out 82 for a break. Taylor hits a 180 in leg four, but Huybrechts wins the leg with the aid of three 140s to force a decider, which he takes with the aid of a 180 an double 16.
Fourth Set 3-0 - A superb ten-darter for Taylor is followed by a 12-darter to break before double six sees him claim a clean sweep to level the contest.
Fifth Set 0-3 - Huybrechts responds with a 3-0 set of his own, opening with a superb 12-darter on a 126 finish, followed by a 104 break before he seals the set on double 16.
Sixth Set 3-2 - Taylor finishes 80 to take the first leg and then takes out 88 for an 11-darter to move 2-1 up, with Huybrechts levelling on double ten and leaving 36 for the match in the decider, only to see Taylor finish tops to send the game into a decisive seventh set.
Seventh Set 3-0 - Taylor kicks off with a 96 finish to break on a 12-darter and takes out 80 to move to the brink of victory before double 18 for a 13-darter seals the win in style.
STEPHEN BUNTING 4-2 MICHAEL SMITH
(3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 1-3, 1-3, 3-1)
STEPHEN BUNTING survived a wobble against Michael Smith to win 4-2 and secure a quarter-final tie against Raymond van Barneveld at the William Hill World Darts Championship.
Bunting raced into a 3-0 lead against fellow St Helens thrower Smith, but the former World Youth Champion - who came from 2-0 down to defeat Brendan Dolan in the second round - again hit back.
Current Lakeside Champion Bunting, though, held his nerve and when it mattered he pulled out his best darts again despite a late onslaught of 180s from Smith to win the fifth set and move on into the last eight in his bid to win the title at Alexandra Palace.
Both men averaged over 102 and hit eight 180s apiece in a high-quality ending to a brilliant night of darts, but Bunting's greater consistency and better start saw him able to hang on despite five ton-plus finishes from Smith.
Smith overcame a slow start against Dolan, and allowed Bunting to take the initiative in this clash despite landing a 170 finish for his only leg of the first set, as legs of 14 and 13 darts helped the Alexandra Palace debutant claim first blood.
Smith also took out 132 as he levelled at two-all in the second set, but Bunting took the deciding leg with the throw with a 14-darter before coming from a leg down in set three to land finishes of 12, 13 and 14 darts.
A 14-darter to break at the start of the fourth set was exactly what Smith needed, and after the next two legs were traded it was the youngster who fired in an 11-darter to claim his first set.
Smith's 12-darter to open set five was bettered by an 11-dart finish from Bunting as he levelled - but Smith took out 106 and 121 in successive legs to claim the set and reduce the gap to just 3-2.
The pair traded 180s as Bunting kicked off the sixth set with a 12-darter only to see Smith level in 12 darts by landing a maximum and a 161 checkout.
Bunting set up double 18 with a 171 score in the third leg, and landed his final maximum in the next as double 16 sealed his place in the last eight, where he meets Raymond van Barneveld.
"I knew I had to get out of the blocks pretty fast and I did that," admitted Bunting. "I got the lead but I knew Michael is a never-say-die player - I watched his game against Brendan Dolan when he was two sets up and let it slip and I had it in the back of my mind just not to do the same.
"Michael is a really good friend and I'm really sad to see him go home but at the same time I'm really happy to be in the quarter-finals."
He added: "I know I've got the game to win this title, and if I bring my best darts to the big stage I can beat anyone, I've proved it this year so I know I can do it, and to win the PDC World Championship would be the ultimate in darts. It's always been a dream to be here and to be in the quarter-finals is amazing."
Match Information
First Set 3-1 - The set features a 170 checkout from Smith in the second leg but it's all Bunting otherwise, hitting two 180s as he leads.
Second Set 3-2 - Bunting finishes 65 for the opening leg but missed doubles allow Smith to level despite a 180 from the Lakeside Champion. A 180 from Bunting in the next is backed up by double 16 finish, and though Smith hits back with a 132 finish, Bunting wins the decider in 14 darts.
Third Set 3-1 - A 180 helps Smith move ahead, and he repeats the feat in the second leg only to see Bunting finish 90 for a 12-darter to level, double 12 for a 13-darter to move 2-1 up and a 180 in a 14-darter to take the set.
Fourth Set 1-3 - Smith breaks in the opener in 14 darts and then doubles his lead before Bunting hits back with a 14-dart leg, but the youngster hits a 180 and an 81 checkout for an 11-darter to seal the set.
Fifth Set 1-3 - Smith's 12-darter to open the set, featuring a 180 and a 91, is bettered by an 11-dart leg from Bunting, but two superb finishes of 106 and 121 see Smith's fightback continue.
Sixth Set 3-1 - The pair trade 180s as Bunting finishes 81 for a 12-darter, with Smith levelling in the same manner with a brilliant 161 finish. Bunting, though, sets up double 18 with a 171 score as he moves 2-1 up before landing his eighth 180 and double 16 to claim victory.

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