Winstanley stuns Whitlock as Waites topples Taylor to progress
Dean Winstanley produced a superb performance to knock Simon Whitlock out of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Tuesday night as Scott Waites joined Phil Taylor in the last 16 with a win over the reigning champion in their final group match.
Winstanley was in sensational form as he won a second successive game to book his place in the second round of the £400,000 event in dramatic fashion after losing his opening game to Kevin Painter on Saturday.
The former Lakeside Championship finalist's 5-1 win over Whitlock, which saw him average 100, knocked the Australian out on leg difference as Painter joined Winstanley in qualifying from Group C.
"It's been a rollercoaster and I showed tonight what I can do," said Winstanley. "I lost my first game and then won my second, and I went up on stage angry inside tonight, and if I can keep that fire I'll be dangerous.
"Simon brings the best out of me and I've got so much respect for him and unfortunately for him I got on top of him. I'm really up for this tournament and I want to go up on stage and bring my best darts out."
Painter had defeated World Youth Champion James Hubbard 5-3 in their game earlier in the evening, but was still left facing an anxious wait before his place in the second round was confirmed.
Painter will now play Mervyn King in the last 16 on Thursday, after the Norfolk thrower topped Group D with three wins from as many games after overcoming 2010 runner-up James Wade 5-2 in their contest, eliminating the PDC world number three.
"It's a nice feeling to get through after being knocked out in the groups last year," said King. "I feel as though I could have played a lot better in all three games, but it was enough to take care of the opponents that I had to play.
"I think there's so much more to give and hopefully the longer I stay in, the more chance there is for me to show my A-game. It's nice to get into the knockout stage now and it's an added incentive for me to turn it up a notch."
King is joined in qualifying from Group D by former World Youth Champion Arron Monk, who won his second game with a 5-1 defeat of Dutchman Jan Dekker to progress to the last 16 for the first time in three years at Wolverhampton.
"To get through is a dream come true," said the 22-year-old. "I got a great result tonight, as I did against James on Saturday, and I'm delighted.
"I've got through by not playing my best yet, so it's a bonus and hopefully I'll show my true darts now. When it's first to five you're under pressure, but now I've got more time and can settle in and bring my best darts through."
Meanwhile, 2010 Grand Slam winner Scott Waites caused a huge upset in Group A, producing a thrilling performance to defeat reigning champion Phil Taylor 5-2, averaging 102.77 and hitting a ten-dart leg as he avenged his loss to the Stoke ace in the 2009 final.
The win saw Waites, who had lost his opening group game on Saturday to Mark Webster, top Group A on leg difference and means that he now faces Robert Thornton in the last 16.
"It's great to get on that stage and to play Phil Taylor, and to get a result at the end of it is brilliant," said Waites. "I felt quite comfortable and my darts went for me, so I'll take that into the next game.
"I can't believe I've topped the group after losing my first game - just to qualify is an achievement - but I'll get out there and play my heart out on Thursday."
Thornton had booked his spot in the second round in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 win over Steve Beaton, who missed three match darts at double top in the deciding leg as the Scot condemned him to a third straight defeat.
"I'm glad Steve missed the double top at the end, but that's darts," said Thornton. "I'm happy to get through. Scott's a great player and he came from 8-0 down to win this tournament, so I know it will be tough on Thursday.
"I like the longer format, because it means you can lose the first couple of legs and not worry too much about it, but I'll be going all out."
Thornton finished second in Group B, with Michael van Gerwen sealing a third straight victory by seeing off Ted Hankey 5-0, completing the win with a 130 finish on the bullseye.
Van Gerwen, last month's World Grand Prix champion, now plays Taylor on Thursday night in an eagerly-awaited contest, with the Dutch ace having been on top form in recent months.
"I'm very happy to win all three games and to finish at the top of the group, and I'm looking forward to the next round to play Phil," said van Gerwen. "I like to play Phil and I know he likes to play me - it will be cracking game.
"I've been getting better step by step and he's always the man to beat. I'm in form at the moment, so it will be an amazing game to watch and for us to play in."
Van Gerwen's Dutch compatriot Co Stompe ended the round-robin phase with a 5-2 win over Webster in the night's other contest, and although he finishes bottom of Group A is determined to build on the victory.
"Hopefully I can build on this performance now and use it going into the World Championship, and I can start again in January," he said. "It's been a hard year for me but my game's coming back in parts."
Wednesday night will see Groups E-H play their final games, with only Gary Anderson assured of a place in the last 16 going into the evening's play.
Anderson will meet PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis in their final Group E game, with John Part and Tony O'Shea meeting as they look to join the Scot in the last 16 from their decisive clash.
There is all to play for in the other three groups, with unbeaten Lakeside Champion Christian Kist meeting Mark Walsh and Raymond van Barneveld playing home favourite Wayne Jones in Group H.
Andy Hamilton meets Paul Nicholson in Group F, with Brendan Dolan playing Barrie Bates in the other fixture, while Wes Newton faces Terry Jenkins in Group G after Wesley Harms faces Martin Phillips earlier in the evening.
For a round up of all the scores and draws, click here.
Tuesday November 13
Groups A-D Final Games
Jan Dekker 1-5 Arron Monk (D)
Mark Webster 2-5 Co Stompe (A)
Kevin Painter 5-3 James Hubbard (C)
Robert Thornton 5-4 Steve Beaton (B)
James Wade 2-5 Mervyn King (D)
Phil Taylor 2-5 Scott Waites (A)
Simon Whitlock 1-5 Dean Winstanley (C)
Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Ted Hankey (B)
Wednesday November 14 - Bet now
Groups E-H Final Games
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson (E)
Brendan Dolan v Barrie Bates (F)
Wesley Harms v Martin Phillips (G)
Raymond van Barneveld v Wayne Jones (H)
John Part v Tony O'Shea (E)
Andy Hamilton v Paul Nicholson (F)
Wes Newton v Terry Jenkins (G)
Christian Kist v Mark Walsh (H)
Thursday November 15 - Bet now
Dean Winstanley v Arron Monk
Mervyn King v Kevin Painter
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Scott Waites v Robert Thornton
Best of 19 legs
Jan Dekker v Arron Monk
0-1 - Monk wins the opening leg comfortably by hitting double 16 to break throw.
0-2 - Monk lands double eight to complete a 15-dart finish to increase is lead.
1-2 - Dekker hits double top at the second attempt to get a leg on the board.
1-3 - Monk is just off-target with a dart at tops, but Dekker is in no position to capitalise and Monk returns to hit the bed and win a third leg.
1-4 - Monk lands double 16 at the first time of asking to break his opponent's throw for the second time.
1-5 - Monk wastes numerous darts doubles to close out the game, but Dekker fails with two attempts of his own and the youngster hits double three to guarantee his place in the last 16.
Arron Monk: "The performance wasn't there tonight but I got the result I needed and I'm delighted to be through to the second round. Playing in this tournament before has given me good experience which has been really helpful to me."
Mark Webster v Co Stompe
0-1 - Stompe lands double five to hold throw and make a good start to the match.
0-2 - The Dutchman hits a maximum and an accurate attempt at double eight secures a break of throw.
0-3 - Stompe piles more pressure on Webster as he takes out 62 in two darts to pull further ahead.
1-3 - Webster lands double five with a pressure third dart, with Stompe waiting on a two-darter.
1-4 - Stompe hits double 18 to move a leg away from victory.
2-4 - Webster produces his best darts of the match as he wins the sixth leg in just 13 darts.
2-5 - Stompe kicks off with scores of 125 and 140 and lands double ten to claim victory and end the Welshman's hopes of qualification.
Co Stompe: "It's nice to finish with a win but it's disappointing that i've still finished bottom of the group. Hopefully I can build on this performance now and use it going into the World Championship, and I can start afresh in January. It's been a hard year for me but my game's coming back in parts."
Kevin Painter v James Hubbard
0-1 - Hubbard kicks off the match with a 177 and goes on take the first leg by hitting double 12.
0-2 - The Norfolk youngster secures a break of throw thanks to an accurate attempt at double top.
1-2 - Painter records an excellent 121 checkout with his opponent waiting on a two-darter.
2-2 - Hubbard leaves tops after 15 darts but Painter takes out 58 in two darts to level the game.
3-2 - Painter wins his third leg in a row by converting a 71 finish.
4-2 - The reigning Players Championship Finals winner continues the good finishing by taking out 75 to move a leg away from victory.
4-3 - Painter hits a 180 to leave 84 but a missed dart at the bullseye allows Hubbard in to keep the match alive, and he accepts the chance by hitting double top.
5-3 - Painter closes out the game by hitting double eight to end the contest.
Robert Thornton v Steve Beaton
1-0 - Thornton holds throw to win the first leg by converting an 83 finish.
1-1 - Beaton levels the match by taking out 76 on double four.
2-1 - The Scotsman regains the lead by winning the third leg with a clinical 14-darter.
2-2 - Beaton holds throw comfortably to leave the game finely balanced.
2-3 - Beaton fires in a 180 and goes on to win the leg against the darts.
3-3 - Thornton hits straight back by winning the sixth leg in just 12 darts, completed with a 90 finish on the bullseye.
4-3 - Beaton is off-target with a dart at double 16 and Thornton takes out 65 in two darts to regain the lead.
4-4 - Beaton hits double top with his third dart to send the match into a decider.
5-4 - A dramatic conclusion to the match sees Thornton miss a dart at tops only for Beaton to miss three chances at the same bed, which allows Thornton to return to hits tops and book his place in the second round.
Robert Thornton: "It was another tough game tonight and I felt that Steve was definitely going to hit double top with three darts in hand. It's great to be through to the next round and I enjoy the longer format as it allows me to relax into the game a bit more."
James Wade v Mervyn King
0-1 - King hits double eight to claim the opening leg.
1-1 - Wade holds throw to level with the aid of a maximum.
1-2 - Wade hits a 171 but misses three chances to break throw and King manages to hold for the second time.
2-2 - Wade converts a 100 checkout to the level the match at two apiece.
2-3 - King hits a clinical 116 finish to move ahead for the third time and end Wade's hopes of qualification.
2-4 - King breaks his opponent's throw by hitting double 12.
2-5 - King hits a 180 and crosses the finishing line thanks to an 88 finish.
Mervyn King: "It's a very nice feeling to come away from the group section with three victories. There's certainly a lot to come from me and I now have to opportunity to turn things up a notch in my next match."
Phil Taylor v Scott Waites
0-1 - Waites wins the first leg with a 15-darter by hitting double eight.
1-1 - Taylor hits a superb 164 checkout by hitting two treble 19s followed by the bullseye.
1-2 - Waites hits double top to regain the lead.
1-3 - The Yorkshireman kicks off with a 180 and wins the leg against the darts with a fabulous ten-dart finish.
1-4 - Taylor's missed attempt at double 14 proves expensive as Waites hits double eight with his third dart to move further ahead.
2-4 - Taylor converts an excellent 98 finish with Waites waiting on tops for the match.
2-5 - Waites puts together a superb 12-dart finish to secure a superb victory and top Group A, averaging 102.77.
Scott Waites: "It's always a great feeling to play Phil on the big stage and to play like that is a huge bonus. To top the group after losing my first match to Mark Webster is a big achievement for me."
Simon Whitlock v Dean Winstanley
0-1 - Winstanley starts the match confidently by hitting a 180 in the first leg before going on to win it in 13 darts.
0-2 - Winstanley continues his excellent start to take the second leg in 15 darts, landing another maximum in the process.
0-3 - The Yorkshireman records a sensational 142 checkout to leave Whitlock under immense pressure.
1-3 - Whitlock hits back-to-back 180s to leave the possibility of a nine-darter, and although that chance goes begging he returns to complete an 11-dart finish to get a leg on the board.
1-4 - Winstanley restores his three-leg advantage by taking out a clinical two-dart 76 finish.
1-5 - Whitlock is off-target with four crucial darts at doubles and Winstanley hits double ten to qualify for the last 16 and eliminate Whitlock in the process.
Dean Winstanley: "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster to get throw this group stage but I'm delighted to have done it. I came out on stage tonight with an aggressive attitude and I feel that when I have that mindset I produce better displays and that definitely showed in victory over Simon."
Michael van Gerwen v Ted Hankey
1-0 - van Gerwen misses eight darts at doubles, but Hankey is unable to pounce and the Dutchman returns to hit double one with his third dart.
2-0 - The Dutchman doubles his lead by converting an 88 finish to guarantee a place in the second round.
3-0 - van Gerwen hits a 13-dart finish to move further clear of his opponent.
4-0 - van Gerwen hits a second 180 and double top to move a leg away from victory.
5-0 - The World Grand Prix champion seals the match in style by hitting a 130 checkout, completed on the bullseye.
Michael van Gerwen: "It's great to win my three group games and top the table. It's an achievement I'm very proud of. I'm really looking forward to playing Phil Taylor on Thursday and I think it will be a cracking game for the crowd to watch. I'm having a wonderful year and I want to do more damage."
*Words by Lawrence Lustig/PDC